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' NORTH CAROLINA: 1776-13(31. 


Submitted to the Board of University Stud- 
ies of the Johns Hopkins University in conformity 
with the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of 

Henry McGilbert Wagstaff . 

»»» 'I 


Px-ef ace , 

This study wus undertaken v/ith the earnest desire to 
make some contribution, however slight, to the history of 
the native state of the writer. The political tendencies 
of North Carolinians betv/een the War of Independence and 
tne War of Secession have been set forth with as much clear- 
ness as the v^riter has been able to discern tnem. It is 
TiOped that the monograph v/ill serve as one block in the ed- 
ifice wnich sonie futui'e historian will erect when neither 
memory nor tradition can warp the truth in the story of 
Southern Secession. 

A friend of the v;riter. Dr. John P. Hollis of South 
Carolina., now of the Bureau of Corporations, V/ashington,D.C . , 
suggested the subject of the study. Grateful acknowledg- 
ment and thanks are esijecially due to Associate Professor 
Jantes Curtis Balliigh, of the Johns Hopkins University, both 
for a cai'eful and painstaking reading of the manuscript and 
for ntiny helpful suggestions and criticisms. The kindly 
interest of Professor John Martin Vincent, Director of the 
Department of history at the Johns Hopkins University has 
been very helpful. Miss Mary Theresa Dallajxi of Baltimore 
kindly read the manuscript and aided in corrections. The 

writer v^ishes further to express his appreciation of the 
courtesy aiid unfailing patience v/ith which Mr, Miles 0, 
Sherrill, North Carolina State Librai-ian, placed the re- 
sources 01 the Library at his conariand and added much to the 
pleasure oi iiis work in Raleigh, 

H. M. Wagstaff. 

Ealtiriiore, Maryland. 
June, 1906, 


Chapter I, - Independent North Carolina: Union, 

Parties emerging from the Revolution: 

Attitude of parties toward the Articles of Confederation, 

Spirit of particulitrisiri. 

Neglect of tne governrrt^nt of the Confederation. 

Call for the Annapolis Trade Convention. 

The Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, 1787. 

Composition of North Carolina's Delegation. 

Fight for the adoption of the Federal Constitution. 

The Hillsboro Convention of 1788: results. 

Willie Jones' plan of action. 

Change of sentiment favorable to the Constitution, 1789, 

Petition for second convention. 

Ratification effected, Nov, 16, 17S9, 

Spirit of the ratification. 

Chapter II. - A Half -Century under the Constitution, 

The attitude of North Carolina toward the new government. 
Adjustment to new conditions. 
Opposition to Hamilton's financial plans. 
Reaction toward anti -federalism. 
General discontent over the excise lav/s, 
Iredell and tne Chisholm-Georgia case. 

Governor Wm. R, Davie and the Alien and Sedition laws. 
Attitude of North Carolina tov/ard the Virginia-Kentucky Res- 
The Federalist leaders. 

The State-Rights party: Nathaniel Macon, leader. 
War of 1812: North Carolina pro-administration. 
Missouri Comproniise in 1820; nev/spapers. 
Nathaniel Macon and Montfort Stokes. 

Presidential election of 1820, sectional parties in the state. 
Parties in 1828: the tariff of abominations. 
The attitude of North Carolina toward nullification. 

Cnapter III. - Whig Supremacy: 1835 - 1850. 
State-Rights principles preserved. 

Difficulty of the Whig position. 

The Texas question. 

Agreement of Whigs and Democrats. 

State Whig leaders. 

Presiuent Tyler and the Bank, 

Results of the War with Mexico. 

Botii North Carolina parties condemned the V/ilmot Proviso. 

Democratic success in 1850, 

Chapter IV, - Slavery agitation: 1850-1860, 

Slavery in the territories. 
Legislative attitude in North Carolina, 
Grov/th of particularistic tendencies. 
Compromise Measures of 1850, 
State parties, 1850-1854, 

Kansas -Nebraska Bill and its effect on North Carolina poli- 
Meeting of the governors in Raleigh, 1856. 
The rise of the Artie ric an or Know-No thing party. 
Presidential election of 1856, 
Dred Scott decision, 
Pax'ty platforms, 1857 and 1858, 
John'w. >";xlis and W.W.Holden. 
John Brovm's Raid: public opinion. 
Hinton R, Helper's "Impending ririais". 
i^ongressional speakership contest: rillmer. 
The WorkingHien's Association. 
Slavery taxation in "orth Carolina. 
Struggle of pai'ties in 1860: issues local. 
Presidential election in 1S50, 
Radicalism of tiie Democratic leaders. 
State acquiesence in the defeat of 1860. 

Chapter V. - Secession. 

Newspaper advice to the people. 

Revival of the old Whig party. 

Complexion of the North Carolina Legislature, 

Governor Ellis' Message. 

Action of the Legislature 

Editor Holden ostracised by the Democrats. 

Attitude lo..a.rd '^outii (^""arolinu' a action of Pec. 20, 1860. 

The Wliig becoifies the Union pai'ty. 

Excitenient of January, 1861, 

let convention measure. 

Result of the convention election of yeh, 28, 1861. 

The Peace Confei-ence; North Carolina's dele^iation. 

The Goldsboro Convention; results. 

Excitenient after Fort Suiriter. 

Call for the 2nd convention. 

Secessionists and i-evolutionists. 

Secession, Tay 20, 1861, 



Chapter 1. 

In April 1773 the threatening aspect of the politi- 
cal situation in the province of North Carolina caused Jo- 
siah Fiartin, the royal governor, to take refuge under the 
gims of a British man-of-v/ar lying in the Cape Fear River. 
From this date North Carolina was one year and a half with- 
out a constitution. Governmental authority v/as exercised 
during this period by the provincial council acting under 
the authority of a provincial congress v/hich had convened 
soon after the governor's flight. At the call of the pro- 
vincial council a second congress met in April, 1776. To- 
gether with its duty of providing ways and means for pros- 
ecuting the war, this body was expected to form a constitu- 
tion. Though tv/o parties were rapidly taking form arrong 
the patriots upon the subject of the constitution public 
opinion was not yet clearly expressed in principles. 

Those Who inclined towards a government of democrat- 
ic type, with every department subject to the will of the 
people, gradually gathered into one camp under the leader- 
ship of Willie Jones. Others counseled conservatism in de- 

pax'ting from old fonns and wish the constitution to provide 
__-_ _/ 

(1) Journal of this congress is in N.C. Colonial Records, 
X, 164-2ii0. 


a government further removed from popular impulse. The 
conservatives recognized Samuel Johnston as the chief expo- 
nent of their principles. The relative strength of these 
tv/o parties in the April congress is unknown. Neither was 
fully formed and x-eady for action. "Certain resolutions 

proposed as a foundation for a tempora/'y civil constitu- 

tion" v;ere deferred from time to time v/ithout their con- 
tents being spread upon the journal. No action v/as had be- 
yond this. The iriatter v/as left over for a future congress. 
But the delegates had been unanimous in voting to instruct 
the delegates of the colony in the Continental Congress to 

concur with the delegates of the other colonies in a decla- 

ration of independence. Three months later the Philadel- 
phia Declaration reached Halifax, then the Seat of govern- 
ment in North Carolina, and v/as publically read to a very 

large assembly of patriots gathered for the interesting 


A third congress v/as now called to meet in November 

and form a constitution for the independent state. The 

y election of delegates to this congress develved warm par- 

( .'J ) 
tisanship betv/een the radical and consei-vative factions. 

(1) Cf, Jo.Seav/all Jones, Defence of North Carolina, 276. 

(2) Journal, N.C. Colonial Records, X, 545,547. 
(3)Ibid., X., 512. 

(4) Jones, Defence of North Carolina, 2G9 , 

(5) Ibid., 283. 

The latter v/ere distanced by their oiJponents. Samuel John- 
ston, the most prominent conservative leader, was defeated 
in his county for a seat in the congress and attended only 
as a lobbyist. Willie Jones v/as ciiosen as borough member 
from Halifax, the seat of the congress. Each of the thirty 
five comities sent up five delegates and nine boroughs one 

The Halifax Congress organized on the 12th of Novem- 
ber by the choice of Richard Caswell as president. Caswell 

v/as fresh from the scene of his victory over the High- 
landers at Moores' Creek in the Cape Pear county and his 

popularity v/as attested h^' the unanimous vote he received 

for presiding officer. On the second day a caianittee was 

appointed to draft a Mil of rights and a constitution. 

Willie Jones was on this comnittee as well as the second 

leading radical in the state, Thomas Person. Popularizing 

influences early manifested themselves in the Congress, A 

motion was passed that for the future all questions 

should be determined by voice instead of by counties and 

tov/ns, as formerly. An act of allegiance to the "independ- 

(1) The battle of f.'ioore's Creek v/as fought in Feb., 1776 
betv/een Ihe •evolutionary provincial forces under the com- 
mand of Casv/ell and the Scotch Highlanders v/ho had risen in 
favor of King George, 

(2) Journal of the Halifax Congress, H.CCol.Rec. X,,916, 
(S) Journal, N,c,Col. Rec, X,, 917. 

ent State of North Carolina and to the Powers and Authori- 
ties which may be established for the ^jood government 

thereof," provided for enforcement upon citizens luke- 

warm to the revolution. The budding spirit of State nation 

alism had its exjii-ession in the appeal of the Congress to 

the lav/ of nations in its demand upon Massachusetts for the 

return of a North Carolina brig, laden v/ith salt, wine, 

and Jesuit bark from Cadiz, Spain, siezed by a privateer 

out of Boston. The v/ork of constitution-meJcing v/ent on 

amid such characteristically democratic proceedings as: 

•On motion, ordered, that sundry horses and a ciiariot, the 

property of the late Governor Martin, besoldfor ready 

money on Monday next at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, in the 

town of Halifax, and that the proceeds of sale be paid into 

the Treasury of this Province". 

The bill of rights brought forward by the Committee 
consisted of tv/enty-f ive articles v/hich enumerated the usu- 
al gxiarantees of English liberty, such as freedom of con- 
science, freedom of thepress, trial by jury, etc. and de- 
clared the people the sole and exclusive source of govern- 
ment, enjoining a frequent recurrence to fundamental prin- 

(1) Journal, N.C. Col. Rec, X., 920. 

31 Ibid, 996 

(3) Tbid., 920 


It was in the constitutional document proper that 
the popular party purposed to enthrone democracy. Yet 
the completed instrument indicated the extremely mild form 
of radicalism prevalent at that date. Many features indeed 
showed the ear-marks of compromise. Legislative authority 
was vested in a biennial assembly annually elected by 
the people under certain restrictions. The judicial and 
executive branches of the government v/ere to an extent sub- 
ordinated to the legislative branch through the pov/er given 

tht asseiribly to elect both the governor and the judges of 

the various courts. Likewise nearly all other officers 

including an attorney general, treasurer, councillors of 

State, generals and field officers of the militia and the 

regular army, v/ere to be elected by the two houses. The 

theory "was that through annual elections the assembly would 

be directly under the control of the people and reflect 

their will. But the franchise v/as so hedged about that 

even this ten.pered concession to democracy was partially 


A state senator had to possess three hundred acres 

(1) H. C. Col. Rec. X,, 1003. This Bill of Rights was de- 
clared a part of the constitution by the 44th Article of 
the later docuirient. 

(2) The justices of the peace in the r-espective coui\ties 
v/ere likewise to be caiaseadby the assembly and commission- 
ed by the governor (Art. 7/6). Though not pro ided in the 
Constitution the coi^oity sheriffs v/ere also elected by the 

in fee. To vote for a senator a freehold qualification of 

fiftv acres necessary. To vote for a couanoner only the 

payment of public taxes v/as required. Evidently there v/as 

small ret-son for Johnston's querulous complaint "I tun in 
great pain for the honor of the province " he wrote. "Ev- 
ery one Y/ho has the:; least pretensions to ho a gentleman is 
suspected and borne dov/n per ignobil e vulgus - a set of 

men .vithout x-eading, e>cperience, or principle to govern 

them." The Constitution, though certainly not admirable 

in niany respects, bore the impi-ess of sincerity, and thou~h 
conservative according to px-esent day standards, it satis- 
fied the demands of the radical party of 1776. 

There was much need, however, for compromise between 
the two Wliig factions. Stability in the government was 
essential to the success of the revolutionary party. The 
internal strife with the Tories was perhaps more bitter in 
North Carolina tnari in any other of the American colonies. 
There were two main causes for this beside the internal and 
usually wholesome difference of opinion upon political 
questions, first, the population of North Carolina, viewed 
as a v/hole, v/as composed of non-homogeneous groups. Sec- 
ond, a long period of pro-Revolutionary mismanagement had 
destroyed the faita of the frontier settlers in the '.visdom 

(1) M.C.Constitution of 1776., sections VII. and VIII, Pol. 
Rec. X., loo6. 

(2) N.C.Col.Hec. X.,1041. Johnston to Jas. Iredell, Dec. 9 .1776 

and justice of the rule of the older, iiicre populous, ixnd 
v/ealthier seaboard. The overflow from the older seaboard 
settlements made up a buck-country population of hardy Eng- 
lish stock v/hich had been unable, up to the Revolutionary 
period, to induce the eastern or seaboard region to extend 
to them any share in the provincial government. 

The first i-esult of tnis sectional divergence was 
the Regulators' War of 1769-1771, v/hich grew directly out 

of o;.pressive taxation and an unjust juo.icial system ap- 

plied by the East to the back-country. In essence it was 

a rebellion of Lhe new West against the old East and east- 
ern misrule. The Regulators, who had assumed the adminis- 
tration of justice in the central and v/estern counties ac- 
cording to their ovm ideals, v/ere crushed by Eastern bay- 
onets under the cotrunand of the royal governor, V/illiam Try- 
on. Hence, v/hen the Revolutionary war broke out it v/as the 
East rather than the English that many of the old Regula- 
tors were ready to fight. Their coalition v/ith the great 
body of Highlanders in the Cape Fear region, v/ho were monar 
archists by mental inheritance as well as by moral convic- 
tion, toi-e the embryo state assunder andgave a deteiinined 
and bloody character to tne civil strife carried on tiirough 

(1) Tor a full treatment of the Regulators* War and its 
causes see Hai^'wood ; Tryon in North Carolina. Also a good 
sketch in Sauiiaers* Introduction to Vol, VIH, of N.C.Col. 


out the Revolutionary period. TJne fires of internecine 

warfare burned brightly in the middle counties even v/hile 

the tacit truce existed from 1781 to 1784 between the Hon- 

tiuental and British forces at Nev/ York and Charleston, 

The battle of Moores* Creek in February, 1776, betv/een the 

state revolutionary troops and the continental forces of 

the Highlanders and the Regulators, had begun the discom- 

feiture of the Loyalists in North Carolina and the defeat 

of Ferguson at King's Moimtain in 1780 had couipleted it. 

The struggle betv/een the Loytilists and the patriots 
v/as so characterized by personal bitterness that even after 
independence of En^jland v;as assured the memory of past suf- 
ferings and hatred could not be wiped out. The bitterness 

rather deepened for awhile against the defeated faction. 

The general assembly in 1782 passed an act of wholesale 

confiscation of the property of a long list of Loyalists, 

beginning with Governors Tryon and Martin, and including 

all v/ho v/ere prominent as royal sympathizers. The treaty 

of peace betv/een England and the United States in 1784 v/as 

careful to provide for rights of return to all fugitive 

Loyalists and for a restitution of their pi'operty. But 

north Carolina v/as in no more conciliatory mood tov/ard the 

(1) Washington's Works, Washington to LaFayette, Jan. 2, 

(2) See Autobiography of Edmund Fanning, the notorious 

N.C.Tory leader. 

defeated Tories in 1784 than in 1782. The victors v/ere un- 

willing to f^ive up the large cimount of confiscf.ted iiroperty 

The radicals, headed by Jones a.nd nov/ in a large majority, 
v/ere too conscious of the State's individual sovereignty, 
and too proud of its new-man independence to defer mate- 
rially to the obligations incurred by the Congress of the 
loosely-jointed Confederation. 

A few only were sufficiently imbued v/ith ideas of 
international honor to enable thtiiii to rise above fac- 
tional hatred. These belonged mainly to the party of 
Jonnston and i-epresented the conservative minority. Among 
tnem wei-e Joimston, James Iredell, Alexander McLaine, Wm. 
R, Davie and Wm, Hooper - each a man of political energy. 
They svatched v;ith jealous care the gi'ov/th of their party 
sentiment and deprecated the evident tendency of the rad- 
ical majority lo individualize the state and place its in- 
terests paraJTiount to those of the Confederation, It was 
the conservative party, therefore, which received with 

eagerness thie iaea of a reform in the Articles of Confed- 

eration. Anarchy not only in international obligations, 

but in finance, in iuctice,- and a genera,l failure to real- 
ize the blessings that independence seemed to promise had 

(1) McKee , II,, 93, Iredell to Pierce Butler, 

(2) McLaine to V/ill Hooper, N, estate Recoi'ds, X^^I,,944. 


Succeeded the treaty of peace. The conservatives in North 
Carolina furnished a full share of the sentiment v/hich was 
t^rov/ing strong Ihi-oughout the country a.nd deinanded a closci* 
union of the states as a means of ending the confused con- 
dition jnto v/hich they v/ere falling. 

But witn the majority in North Carolina the movement 
for creatimg an efficient anion gathered force slc.vl;/. The 
party in power by no means despaired of the state or showed 
signs of a loss of faith in independent state democracy. 
Willie Jones was a personal friend of Thomas Jefferson and 
possessed even more aemocratic ideals than the Virginia 
leader. The fundamental keynote of Jones' position v/as an 
independent state democracy adniinistered along fraternal 
lines and with just so rtiuch connection v/ith the other 
states as to insure jjeace between them. This spirit of 
particularism Jones carefully fostered in his party, the 
members of v/hich, for a number of years, accepted his views 
as re-enacted lav/. 

The general result of this state i-i^hts or partic- 
ularistic spirit was an almost total lack of interest by 
the nrajority party in the affairs of the Confederation, 
State ;.clitJcs rbsorbed all its intex-ests. Delegates were 
chosen to Congress but their seats were for the most part 
vacant. Throughout the year 17S6 the chaizTiian of Congress 


continually urged upon Governor Casv/ell the importance of 

having; the state represented, and the governor as contin- 
ually urged the representatives to go forward, but it v/as 
not lintil Ji-ine of that year that the first North Carolina 
delegate arrived .In Nev/ York, Three delegates arrived in 

that n:onth, but almost inrimed lately sought to be relieved by 

other delegates who had not yet attended at allt The ide 

prevailed that there should be rotation among the state 

delegates in the disagreeable task of attending Congress. 

In December, 17S6 the State was again totally uni*epresented 

The lack of sufficient remuneration and the slow methods of 

transportation, as well as the general want of interest in 

Confederation affairs, incz'eased the disinclihation to 

serve in Congress. The salaries of the Carolina delegates 

were sixty-four pounds each ijer month, paid by warrants on 

the titate treasury in depreciated state paper money. The 

depleted state of the treasury often rendered this diffi- 

cult of collection. But, despite the lack of interest man 

ifested by North Carolina and members of the other states, 

the American Confederation v/as now on the eve of a niarvel- 

lous political change, a change the more wonderful in that 

it was so far from being generally demanded by the thirteen 

(1) N. estate Records, XVIII., 515,659, ettseq, 

(2) Timothy Bloodworth to Gov. Caswell, Sept, 4, 17S6, 
N.C. Records, X'/III., 7:^4, and Chas, Johnston to Caswell. 

, 773. 

(3) N.C, Records, X'/III., 309. Report of Legislative Com- 


maeiJt.'naent aovei'eignties affected. 

In February, 1786, Governor Oasv/ell r-eceived the 
resolutions of Virginia respecting the appointment of com- 
missioners to meet at Annttpoli3 the follov/ing September for 
the purpose of taking into consideration the trade of the 
United States and to report on some method of securing uni- 
ty of action and harmony between their jangling interests. 

The assenialy not being in session Governor Casv/ell, by the 

advice of his council, appointed five commissioners to at- 
tend at the time, place, und for the xjurjiose named. Cas- 
well, who stood in politics midway betv/een the radicals and 

and conservatives, showed an earnest desire that the ap- 

pointees siiould attend and urged them to do so Only one 

of the number, howevei-, hu.c^h Williamson, made an effort to 
be present. After soirie delay by weather and bad travel 
Williamson reached Annapolis on the 14th of September, the 
say the Convention adjourned. 

Though not having effected its immediate purpose of 
regulating inter-state trade, the Annapolis Convention 
served a larger purpose in its recommendations to Congress 
to call a constitutional convention. Acting upon this rec- 
ommendation Congress, within the same month, invited the 

(1) N.C., State Records XVm., 650. 

(2) Ibid., XVIII,, 682. Letters to the Corranissi oners. 

thirteen states to send delegates to Phili^delphia in May, 
1787, for the purpose of y.roviding reniedies for the weak- 
ness of the eocisting Union. 

Tht: General Assembly of North Carolina on the ISth 
of November responded by the appointment of a delegation of 
five. As usual by the Assembly the delegates consi3ted of 
Willie Jones, Alexander Martin, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Wil- 

liani R, Davie, and Governor Cas\igill, It ./as understood 

that three of these Jones, Martin, and Caswell, v/ere 

State Rights men. Spjaight and Davis were avowedly favor- 
able to the idea of greatly strengthening the Peaeral gov- 

U) (3) 

ernment. The preamble to the act of appointment, hov/- 

ever, emboaied the sentiments of the Conservatives and 

seems to have bren due to their exertions. Perhaps it was 

on this account as much as for his lack of sympcithy with 

the pi-cposed to strengthen the Union at the expense of the 

privileges of the states that Jones at once declined to 

serve on the delegation. The Governor, so empov/ered by the act 

filled the vacancy b^- the appointment of Hugh V/illiumson, 

and also appointed WilliaiM Blount in his ov/n stead. Roth 

V/illiamson and Blount classed as Conseiwatives, }Ience the 

(1) McRee u,, i!3i. Iredell ^o Mrs. Iredell, r,eTjt.?0, 

(2) Ibid. II,, IGS, Spaight to Iredell, 
(6) Public Acts of N.C, 17S6, 412. 

(4) li. estate Records, XX., o57,683. 


coPiplBxion of tae delegation was entirely chun^^ed. Only 
one radical, ex-Governor Martin, reinained among the v/hole 
number of five composing tiie conunission. 

When the Constitutional Convention began regular 
sessions at Philadelphia on the 25th of Hay, 1787, with 
George Washington as president, only one of North Carolina' 
delegation, V/illiam R. Davie, ho-d arrived. The reme<.ining 
uiembers, hov/ever, appeared soon after organization. Great 
unanimity pi-evailed a^aong the five throughout the period of 
the Convention. Martin acted v/ith his colleagues apparent- 
ly v/ithout reference to party affiliation. The delegates 
seemed conscious of the importance of the crisis andits 

^^robable influence ujjon the destiny of Anerica. On the 

14th of June the cop.imission v/rote to Governor Casv/eli: "A 

very large field presents to o.ur viev/, without a single 
straight or eligible road that has been trodden by the feet 
of nations. A union of Sovereign States, pi-eserving 
their civil liberties and connected by such ties its to pre- 
serve permanent and effective Governments • • • is a cir- 
cumstaiace that has not occurred in the history of man". The 
tone of this v/nole letter aiiOws conclusively that no 
thought had t-ver occui'red to M'ih rlelegates that North Car- 
olina v/ould dives t nerself of sovereignty in the process of 
(1) N,C. State Records, XX,, 823, 


of union with the other states. 

The injunction of yeci'ecy laid by the Convention xp- 
on itself iireverxted luenibers from keeping their states in- 
formed as to the prOj^iress of the Convention's labors. But 
a coi'i'-esi/ondence .<ept uji bet./een tne Nox'th Carolina dele- 
gates and prominent men at nome enabled the delegates to 
judge the temper of tne state. Governor Caswell v/rote, 
July 26, to Spaight: "From the hint you threw out in your 
first letter I sdu induced to think that the plan of a Na- 
tional Parliament and Supreme Jlxecutive, with adequate t)0\v- 
ers to the Government of the Union, v/ill be more suitable 
to our situation than any other; but I snould wish also an 
indepenaent judicial department to decide any contest that 

may happen between tne United States and individual states, 

and between one state and another." Davie wfcote James 

Iredell, tiie ablest advocate of North Carolina, to inquire 

as to how far the introduction of judicial powers, derived 

from Congress, would be uolitic and practicable in the 

state. As v/e snail see later, ti:ie operation of a federal 

juaiciary v/as featux-e of the Constitution iiost dreaded 

by tne people of North Carolina, 

(1) N,C, Records XX,, 7b.i, From Executive Letter-Book. 
(2) McRee , Life and Correspondence of Janies Iredell, II. 


In thf Gonvonti-on, North Carolina, as one of the 
largest atsites, naturally used her vote to conserve this 
advantage. Her delegation from the first demanded repx-e- 
sentation in jjroportion to population in both the House and 
Senate, but finally a[-reed to equality in the latter on 
condition that usxially bills shoula originate in the fonri- 
er. Where the question of the method of choosing senators 

came up Davie insisted on their election by state le^'isla- 

tures, ae brought the remainder of the delegation to tnis 

view and cast the vote of the State for that method in op- 
position to the plan of election by the House from nomina- 
tions made by the state legislatures supported by Massa- 
ciiusetts, Vir-ginia, and South Carolina. In the discussions 

upon this topic Hr. Davie clearly indicated his views as to 

the natux'e of the government in process of f oi-mation. It 

was, he said, partly federal and piartly national: 'it ought 

in some respects to operate on the states, in others on the 

people, Alexanuer Kartin said: "United Anei'ica i'lust have 

one general interest to be a nation, at the same time pi-e- 

sei'ving the particular interests of the states." 

(1) I!adison Papers, Suplementary to Elliott's Debates 
on the Federal Constitution, V., 365, 

(2) Ibid., V. , i65, 2S1. 

(6) N.C, Records, JCX. , 753. Mai-tin to Govex-nor Casv/ell. 
V/ith Martin, however, the political penduluin has swunr so 
far away frout particularism that events were soon to prove 
that he nad lost the confidence of hin party. 


Naturally North Carolina's vote in each instance 

was cast in support of the Southern dei;iand that at least 
tnree-fifths of the stat«s should be included in the uppor- 
tionnient of i-epresentatives in the House. In this connec- 
tion Lavie pointed out that North Carolina v/oiJ.d never con- 
federate on any tei-ms that did not rate the blacks as at 
thxve-f if ths. "If the Eastern States meant, therefore," he 

said, "to exclude tnein altogether, tbe business v/as at an 

(2) (3) 

end." Y/illicurison held the saxrie viev/. The North Car- 
olina delegation -vas luJce-warm as to the continuation of 

the slave-trade but voted v/itu Sout.a Carolina and Georgia, 

apparently from a fear that these states would reject the 

Constitution provided the trade w^as £i.bolished at once. 

In the apportionment of x-epresentatives in the lower 
branch of Congress the Convention allotted onl;^^ five mem- 
bers to North Carolina. This number just equalled one- 
thirteenth of the whole nuinber to compose the first Con- 
gx-ess. The state's share of -the debt of the Confederation 
had in no year been rated as high as one- thirteenth of the 
total; therefore, lest a present increase in the a^portion- 
al number of representatives snould mean also a correspond- 
ing inci'ease in the state's share of the common debt, the 

(1) Ma' ison Papers. Supl. , Elliott's Debates, V.. 301, 471, 

(3) Ibid., 303 (3) Ibid., 296. 

(4) Ibid., 4o0. Speech of Williainson. 


dele-ates from North Carolina contented thettiselves with the 

numbei* assigned until the new apportionment. In 1790 a 

general census was to be taken ana tiiereafter 30,000 of 
population, including three-fifths of the slaves, should be 
the unit of representation. 

When the Convention finished its labors at Philadel- 
phia three members onlv signed the Constitution for Ilorth 

Carolina: one of these doing so v/ith the expressed i-eser- 

vation that the act did not bind him to the support of the 
instrument in nis own state, dissension had bx'oken out 
afresh cunong the delegates from the various states at the 
vei'y last inoirient. Many expressed themselves as dissatis- 
fied v/itn the final result. Lavie and Martin had x-eturned 
home to meet business engagements just befoi'e the Constitu- 
tion came from the Coaanittee in completed foxTTi. jl^avie 
"./ould certainly have signed, and Martin very probably. 

While the report of the Philadelphia Convention was 
still in the hands of Congress, Noi-th Carolina held her an- 
nual elf^ction for members of the General Assembly. It v^as 
felt that this election was the preliminary skinrdsh 

(1) .C. otate Records ^CX. , 778, The Delegates to Govern- 
or Casv/ell. 

(2) Wm. Blount. 


■.vaged Civei- tne uaoption of the federal constitution. Hence 
un unusual degree of interest vvas awakened forthwith. The 
Conservati-tees nov/ beginning to cull themselves federal iien, 
iiiade strenuous efforts to control the approaching Assembly. 
They v/ere so far successful that when the Assembly met in 
November they were able on joint ballot to elect Samuel 
Jonnston governor and to call a state convention to ineet at 
hillsboro in the following July to pass upon the Constitu- 
tion. At the beginning of the year Johnston was inducted 
into office with great enthusiasm, his election appearing 

to the federalists as an augury of success for the ConstitU' 

tion. Others, hov/ever, were not deceived as to the shoals 

ahead. The radical leaders, nov/ anti-federalists, aroused 

themselves to the greatest activity, detennined to se^cure 
an overwhelming majority in the Convention. Willie Jones 
began early in 17SS to narshal his forces. Residing at 
Halifax on the Roanoke he personally directed the caiTipaign 
in the eastern and northeastern sections of the state. 
Able lieutenants directed it elsev/here. Timothy Blood- 
v/orth, a blacksmitn, lea the party in the southern or Wil- 
mington district. David Calwell, a pure and patriotic Pres 
byterian divine, had a large influence in the central coun- 

(1) Davie to Iredell, KcRee, u,, U7. 

(^) Maclai'ie to Iredell, Dec. 25, 1787, McKee. II., 183. 


ties, and that of Judge Samuel Spencer and Major Joseph 

McDonnll, of King's Mountain fajne, was the most prominent 

in the West. 

The party cue v/as given by Jones at Halifax. The 

federal judiciary, he said, would play havoc with the au- 
thority of the state's courts; the poor were to be ruined 
by many collections and federal taxation; there v/as no pro- 
vision for freedom of conscience. All of these, and others 
of like tenor , were potent argunients to the average North 
Carolinian against suri-endering his dearly bought liberties 
to an '.ditried form of government. The state judiciary, 

from the first, v/as practically unanimous in opposition to 

the Constitution. Party lines were closely drawn. On ac- 
count of nis compliant attitude at Philadelphia Alexander 
Martin was now rejected by his former constituents. The 
western country generally v/as decidedly opposed to the Con- 
stitution; the Cape Fear or western region v/as generally 
favorable; and the eastern country, where all the federal 
leaders resided, v/as closely contested. In Dobbs, an east- 
ern county, the federalists, finding that they v/ere in dan- 
ger of losing the election, raised a riot, put out the can- 
ID McBee, II., 217. Davie to Iredell, outlining Jones' 
position, Davie was neiglibor to Jones at iialifax. 
(2) McEee, II., 183, Maclaine to Iredell. 


dies, destroyed the books and knocked to pieces the ballot- 

boxest Generally, Hov;ever, the elections took place with- 
out fraud or violence and were for the Riost part favoi-able 
to the anti-f ederaliste. 

Absolute and final rejection of the federal Consti- 
tution seemed to be the first plan of the North Carolina 
anti-federal leaders. Before the Hillsboro convention met, 

however, the States, ainons them. Virginia, had ratified. 

Jones, therefore, announced his purpose to procure re- 
jection in order to give v/eight to the aniendirients which the 
states v/ere preparing. The federalists redoubled their ef- 
forts. They believed now that the convention v/ould have 

an issue favorable to the Constitution despite the anti- 

federal election successes. Theix* faith v/as grounded on 

the assumption that the weight of the decision of the ten 
states, which had already secured the new form of govern- 
ment, v/ould be a moral foi-ce sufficiently strong to induce 

conipliance by North Carolina. Iredell issued a strongly 

v/ritten paruphlet in which he answered the objections to 

the Constitution made by Mason of Virginia. A second pamph 

(1) McRee, II., :i21. Witherspoon to Iredell. 

(2) Ibid,, II., 230. Davie to Iredell, July 9, 178S, 

(3) McRee, II,, 341, hooper to Iredell, 

(4) Tnis paitiphlet v/as publiciied unaer the ]jseudonyni of 
"Marcus", It is republished in McRee, II,, 186-215, 


xet, the joint product of the pens of Iredell and. iJavie 
appeared a little later. In this the authors strove to 
meet tne popular objections to a federal judiciary, and the 
absence in the Constitution of a guarantee that the States 
retained all the powers not aelegated by them to the feder- 
al covernment. 

The convention, consisting of t./o hundred and eighty 
four members, met at Hillsboro, July 21, 1788. The promi- 
nent federalists present were Governor Joiinston, James Ire- 
dell, William R. Davie, R. D. Spaight, and Alexander Mac- 

laine. Counterbalancing these on the anti-federal side 

were V/illie Jones, Timothy Sloodworth, David Calv/ell, 

(1) McRee, in his Life and Correspondence of James Ire- 
dell, II,, 232, makes the follov/ing characterization of 
Jones, which, to the v/riter, seems peculiarly fitting. 
"7/illie Jones, of Halifax, v/as the most influential poli- 
tician in the State: ultra-democratic in theory, he v/as 
aristocratic in details, tastes, pursuits, and prejudices: 
he lived sumptuously, and wore fine linen; he raced, hiint- 
ed, and played cards; he was proud of his v/ealth and social 
position, and fastidious in the selection of associates for 
his family. A patriot in the Revolution, he was nov; (17RS) 
the acknowledged head of a great party. He was jealous of 
his authority and prompt to meet any attempt to undermine 
nis pov/er. His knov/ledge of human nature v/as consumrrfeite; 
and in the arts of insinuation he was unrivalled. • • • • 
Though generally relentless and uncompromising as a parti- 
san, he had a generous heart and on more than one occasion, 
gave signal proof that he could sour above the murky at- 
mosphere of party. He v/as a loving and cherisheo disciple 
of Jefferson, and was often taunted with his subserviency 
to Vii-jinia 'abstractions'. He seldom shared in the dis- 
cussions {on the floor of the convention). His time of ac- 
tion v/as cniefly during the hours of adjournment: Then it 
was that he stimulated the passions aroused the suspicions, 
or underated the ardor of nis followers: then it v/as that. 

Judge SajTiuel Spencer, and Joseph I'cDov/ell. Out of deferene 
to his office the anti-federalists made no objection to the 
choice of Governor Johnston as president, his election be- 
ing by unaninious vote. The federalists, conscious that 
they were greatly in the minority, nevertheless v/ere not 
without hope that during the debates to follow a sufficient 
number of anti-federalists would be brought over to rati- 
fication by argument and by the late course of events in 
the other states. 

Despite the size of his majority, Jones made a tact- 
ical ei-ror inimediately after the convention had been organ- 
ized. Alleging that every member's mind was made up he 
raoved, in the interest of frugality and economy of the pub- 
lic funds, that the question upon the Constitution be put c 
at once. He receded from this position, hov/ever, injnedi- 
ately it became evident that a majority desired to hear the 
Constitution discussed. His pov/er reasserted itself in in- 
influencing his followers against entering into the debate. 
The floor of the convention was left to the advocates of 
the Constitution. The anti-federalists apparently constitu 
ing themselves into a jury before v/hich that instrument was 
on trial. Again and again the federalists chtillenged them 

smoking his pipe, and chatting of crops, ploughs, stock, 
and dogs, he f^jtole ids way into the hearts of honest farrri- 
ers and erected there thrones for -.inr.elf , " 


to debute the portions of the Constitution which, outside 

the convention, had been declared objectionable. ?erse- 

vex'ance in this course finally drew the anti-f edex-alists 

into debate and developed their positions. 

Their first objection v/as made to the caption "V/e, 

the people", with which the Constitution begins, Joseph 

Taylor, a decided state i-ignts niernber, said: "We, the peo_- 

ple . is surely an assumed power. *••#• "had it said. We the 

States , there v/culd have been a federal intention in it. 

But, sir, it is clear that a consolidation is intended. 

7/ill any gentleman say that a consolidated govei-ninent v/ill 

answer this country? It is too large. **« We see plainly 

that men v/ho come from New Englcind are different from us. 

They are ignorant of our situation; they do not know the 

stc^te of our country. They cannot v/ith safety legislate 

for us". Judge Spencer said: The States (under the pro- 
posed constitution) ao not act in theii* political capaci- 
ties, but the govermaent is prepared for individuals. ••• 
There ougnt, therefoi-e, to be a bill of rigiits". The fed- 
eralists ' reply to tnis arguirient v/as that all i-owers not 
given up in the Constitution by the States to our general 

(1) Elliot's Lebates, IV,, 103, 107. 

(2) " " " 24. Ibid. IV,, 152. 

(3) Ibid. IV., 148. 


gove mnient v/ere i-etttined by the respective states. 

Indeed on the question of the absence of u bill of 
rif^hts tlie federalistrj ass.^ried anc /leld, thi-oughout the 
period of the convention, a theory of the Constitution 
which, in after years, was the basis of the states rights 

docti'ine anc the theory upon which the South acted in 1861. 

On the floor of the convention, Iredell said: "Of v/hat 

use, therefox'e, can a bill of riglits be in this constitu- 
tion, where thepeople expressly declare how much pov/er they 
do give, ana consequently retain all they do not? It (the 
Constitution) is a delegation of jiarticular jjowers by the 
people to their i-epi-esentatives for particular purjjoses. 
It rnay be considered as a great pov/er of attorney, under 
which no power can be exex-cised but v/hat is expressly giv- 
en." Davie and Spaight, speaking more authoritatively be- 
cause of their participation in the fox'mation of the con- 
stitution and hence, presurriably, had better knowledge of 
its spirit, supported anc reinforced this inter-pi'e tation of 
Iredell. Nor do the exigencies of the political situation, 
though pressing, sufficiently account for tnis interpreta- 
tion so general aifiong the federalists, unquestionably the 

supporters of the Constitution in North Carolina held that 
instrurrient as a compact between the States and '.he federal 
(1) Elliot's Debates, IV., 14R. 


goverruiient, their a;^ent. 

Second to the fear of cr.nsolidation and the absence 
of a bill of i-iij;hts, the ijoint of c^'^^citest objection raised 
by the anti-federalists v/as the operation of a federal j u- 

diciarj-- v/itiiin the circuits of the state. Judge Spencer 

was ready to concede that, in case federation was ne- 
cessary, the federal judiciary snould have appellate ju- 
risdiction in certain cases that should be specifically enu- 
merated, and original jurisdiction in all maritime cases, 
but he tiiought that within the limits of u state, the 
state's court should carry into execution the laws of Con- 
gress. It was also conceded by the anti-federalists that a 
supreme federal court might justly have cognizance of con- 
troversies between two or more states and between citizens 
of the saiTie state claiming lands under grants of different 
states, further power over the individual they were unwill- 
ing to yield. Inasmuch as the Constitution had left it 
to Congress to give definite fonti to the federal judicial 
system, the people undoubtedly feared to subject themselves 
to a outside their own borders v/nose expression might 
touch the daily lines of individuals in an intricate and 
possibly Oi.pressive mariner. The absence of a guarantee of 
trial by j urj^ increased the general distrust. 
(1) Elliot's Debates, IV., 155. 


The convention remained in session eleven days. 
Towai-d its close evecy imijortant feature of the Constitution 
had been discussed v/othout any appreciable change of sen- 
tiiuent in eitner party. The anti-federalists shov/ed no 
disposition to .-ield the point of ratification. The latent 
danger in the position of isolation v/hich North Carolina 
v/ould occupy sandwiched betv/een the northern and south- 
ern sections of the Union v/as recognized; but they believed 
that a good purpiose could be served by non-ratification in 
that it vvould give v;eight to the general deiiiand for cunend- 

ments. Accordingly Jones re-announced non-adoption as the 

unchanged policy of his party. The state ran no x'isk, he 

said, of being excluded from the Union v/hen she mshed to 
come in; Virginia woula not Oj^pose, and South Carolina and 
Georgia v/ere deeply interested in North Carolina's acces- 
sion; that indeed twelve men, struggling under a heavy load 
would not be likely to reject the assistance of a thir- 
teenth. He quoted the well-known letter of Jefferson to 
Madison in v/hich the iiope v/as expressed ttiat nine states 
woula ratify in order to secure the union, but that the re- 
maining four would stand aloof until arriendment was effect- 
ed. Jones' reasoning was conclusive with his party. Tak- 
ing the direction of the convention into his own hands he 
(1) Elliott's Debates, IV., 226. 


now manaeuvered to bring about a vote which, though serving 

the sarrie purpose, vyould not be a direct rejection. The re- 
ID (1) 
suit v;as a resolution v/hich asserted the necessity for 

a bill of rights ana suggested that a second federal com- 
vention be called. To the i-esolution v/as appended a decla- 
ration of rights similar to that in the State Constitution 

and a list of tv/enty-six arriendrr.ents. The first arTiendrrtent 

guaranteed the reserved rigiits of the states. The remain- 
der for the most part were restrictions upon the federal 
government and an enlargeirient of the powers of Congress re- 
ative to the other two branches. 

The anti-federalists carried the resolution and ap- 
pendages by a final vote of 184 to 84. A motion by a fed- 
eralist to substitute a ratifying resolution v/as defeated 
by the same majority of one hundred. That the state might 
be in line to accede to the Constitution when it wished 
and, in the meantime, not being upon itself the results of 
possible hostile trade regulations by Congress, the conven- 
tion passed a second resolution offered by Jones which rec- 
onirriended to the State legislature that, whenever Congress 
should pass a law for collecting an impost in the states 
which had ratified, a siinilar impost should be laid on 

(1) Elliott's Debates IV., 242. 

(2) Ibid., IV., 244. 


goods imported into North Carolina and the rr,oney arising 

therefrom be appropriated to the use of Congress. The 

convention adjourned sine die August 4. 

Immediately after adj ournirient of the North Carolina 
convention the news cairie that New York, the eleventh state, 
had ratified. Rhode Island and North Carolina only were 
without the federal pale. The federalists renewed their 
activity and public opinion now began to veer around rap- 
idly. Eriends of the Constitution in ^.linost every town anr 
county joined in petitions to the General Assembly asking 
the call of a second State convention. The state was on 
the eve of the annual August elections for assemblyinen. The 
petitions were to be ready for presentation when the Assem- 
bly should meet in November, Upon a suggestion from Gov- 
ernor Johnston the petitioners preserved in the large nuiri- 

ber of petitions prepared a fair degree of uniformity. 

They stressed nriainly the benefits to be derived from a firm 

union v/ith the other states and the desirability of the 

state's being in the Union when the anticipated arriendiTients 

should be formed so that her influence might be felt as to 

their content. 

The federalists iriade large gains througliout the 

(1) These petitions are found in manuscript in the N.C. 
Archives, Office of Secy of State, Raleigh. 


state in the election of assemblyinen. A most rapid change 
of sentiment had especially manifested itself in the v/est- 
err counties. This western region generally, on both sides 
of the mountains had sent up anti-federal delegates to the 
Hillsboro convention in July, but in August elected feder- 
alists to the Assembly, The trans-mountain men, the inhab- 

itants of the abortive state of Eranklin, were returning 

to their allegiance to North Oax'olina, and sent federalists 

to Tihe Assembly in the hope that, snould the Constitution 

be ratified, the trans-mountain country would be at once 

ceded to the federal govern:nent and their aspirations to 

statenood satisfied. Governor Johnston encouraged this 

hope enough to secure their support of the convention meas- 
ure. Moreover, the sudden threat of a general Indian war 
had alarmed the v/nole western country on both sides of the 
mountains in the fall of 1788 and caused a very widespread 
appreciation of the benefits to be derived from membership 
in the Union and its consequent protection. 

Though the swing of the political pendoluiri was now 
toward federalism, Jones exerted all his pov/ers to stay its 

(1) Ranr.sey, J.G.M. Annals of Tennessee, 383-540. The in- 
habitants of the territory of North Carolina west of the 
Great Smoky mOo.ntains in 1784 ex-ected a ^'evolutionary 
state v/hich they called Franklin and maintained it against 
the authority of North Carolina until 1788. The questions 
involved v/ere similar to tliose in the Regulators' war of 
1769-71. In fact in many of its phases, it .vas a i'epetitio 
of this struggle, witn the scene shifted across the moun- 

ii.omentuiri. He declared that North Carolina should remain 
out of the Union for at least five or six years; that that 
length of time should elapse before the federal judiciary 
was "let in uijon" the people. Centralization emd the loss 
of dearly bought liberties were his themes. Though he 
strengthened the party soraewhat in his own district, Jones 
could not counterbalance the general gains of the federal- 

Wlien the Assembly met in November its membership was 
found to be aliuost entirely divided between the parties. 
This repi-esented a marvelous decrease in the strength of 
the anti-federalists as compared wi tn their majority in the 

convention in July. The petitions for a new convention now 

caiTie in in large numbers. It was evident that public 

opinion demanded that the Constitution should be considered 
anew. A convention bill was prepared and passed; but the 
anti-federalists were strong enough to fix the time of 
meeting far beyond that planned by the federalists. The 
date fixed upon was November* 16, 1789, six months after the 
first Congress would convene under authority of the Con- 
stitution. With this the federalists had, perforce, to 

(2)McRec II., 244. Johnston to Iredell. 

(1) Journals. U.C. Records, XXI., d,S,20, 1788-17R9. 


content themselves. 

Though the feeling of sisterhood eni^endered between 
the states during the Revolution prevented North Carolina 
and Rhode Island from being received as actual foreign ter- 
ritories when the governrrient of the new Union v/ent into op- 
eration in April, 1789, it never occurred to anyone to look 
upon them as other than independent sovereignties. r:ince 
the resolution of the Philadelphia convention made the con- 
stitution binding only on those states that *«ould ratify 
it, in no quarter of the Union did the viev/ obtain that the 
states still v/ithout were other than political entities, 
subject only to the collective v/ill of the people respect- 
ively 01 the states in question. When impost and tonnage 
bills were introduced early in the first session of the 
first Congress there .vere some proposals to so regulate 

them that North Carolina v/ould be treated as a foreign 

state. The object of course v/as to bring ecconomic pres- 
sure to bear sufficiently heavy to insure her to enter the 
Union. Hugh Williamson, acting as agent of North Carolina 

to Con,[jress, felt it inc uribent upon liim to niemorialize that 

body on the subject. lie urged forbearance for, he said, 

(1) McRee, II., Senator Pierce Butler of South Carolina t 

to Janies Ii-edell, August 11, 1789. 

(2) WillicUTison to Congress, r^S., State Archives. 


only a little time v/as needed to bring his State into the 
sisterhood. The proposed hostile clauses, however, had not 
been seriously entertained. The attitude of the states in 
the Union toward taose without v/as one of courteous invita- 
tion. Some of them felt perhaps as did the fox in the fa- 
ble, having lost their own tails they wished North Carolin. 
to do likewise. Already a "Soutnern interest", as Disposed 
to Northern interests, was recognized by Southern public 

men and those devoutly wished for the accession of North 

Carolina as a means of preserving a balance of power. 

The second North Carolina convention called to con- 

sidei" the federal Constitution iriet November 16, 1789, and 

five days later passed an ordinance of ratification by a 

majority of 118 votes. The joux-nal of the six days' ses- 
sion contains the bare outline of the proceedings. Hence 
it is impossible to deterrriine the spirit of the debates, 
unless exact con-espondence of federalists be accepted. 
Governor Johnston wrote that the opposition was "still 

violent and virulent"; ajid Davie upon the first day was 

doubtful that ratification could be effected. 

(1) Cf. Pierce Butler to James Iredell, ^IcRee, II., 263. 

(2) Journal of '.he Fayetteville Convention, 1789, p 
in N.C. State Records, XXII., 66-bZ, 

(3) McRee, II., 271. Davie to Iredell. 


But Davie had signally failed to cprrectly estinnate 
the rapidity with which sentiment for union had developed 
since the adj ourniTient of the liillsboro convention, nov/ more 
than a yea.r pastt Moreover, the position the federalist 
leaders themselves had taken in defense of the Constitution 
had labelled them as thorough State rights men provided 
they had the state once inside the Union. Their speeches 
in the Hillsboro convention, the propaganda they had indus- 
triously circulated after this convention, and their gener- 
al attitude toward union conclusively show that they regard- 
ed the Constitution as a federal compact and the general 
government the agent of the states ci-eating it. With this 
iaeal neld before the anti-federalists enough of them bowed 
their neads to enable the state to give sanction to the 

Wiiatever fotm of govei-nrrient the logic of subsequent 
events may have shov/n that the Constitution created, yet no 
one could become familiar with the spirit prevalent in both 
parties in North Carolina in 1789 without feeling that the 
adoption of the Constitution was based on a belief that it 
created a govemnitntal compact v/i th pov/ers increased over 
those of the old Articles of Confederation only foi* the 
purpose of efficient practical administration. Although 
North Carolina entei'ed tlie Union only after hesitancy and 


mature deliberation, yet ner subsequerit history i^roved her 
loyalty to it as long as the Constitution represented her 
intei'pretation of its provisions. 


No abrupt change occurred in the course of her in- 
ternal affairs when North Carolina ejitered the federal Union. 
Local feeling and thought adjust theniaelves slowly to politi- 
cal jr.anges in external relations unless '.he changed relatione 
be so radical as to touch intimately the daily life of tne 
individual. In North Carolina a majority trusted that the 
nefi form of government would prove its ri,-;ht to exist, but few 
believed in its perfection. To tne country at large the gov- 
ernment was as yet a political experiment; nor did i:ie con- 
stitution coaimand universal respect. The anti-federalists 
soon formed themselves into the Republican party aaid assumed 
the roll of critic. 

Ratification had been effected in North Carolina 
duriag a surface reaction from tne tendency toward state in- 
dividualism represented by Willie Jones. Once inside the 
Union, however, the advantages arising therefrom began to 
manifest tneiaselves and prevent a uecided second reaction. 
Adjustment to tne nev/ order of tnings, however, was not with- 
out jars and friction between federal and state authority. 
Two incidents occurred in 1790 which, though small within 
themselves, nevertheless served to show how lightly the 

federal authority was nela dariiig tiie first years of Union. 
Goncress had pabbed an act in Jane, 17o0, prescribinr: an oath 
of office in support of tiie constitution for sach state offi- 
cials as governors, members of the legislature, and others. 
When the excitement arose in the last months of 1790 over 
Hamilton's scheoie for federal assumptioii of state debts, the 
the popular branch of tiie North Carolina General Assembly, 
much opposed to assumption, refused by a vote of 55 to 26 to 
take tne oath to support lue federal constitution. The sec- 
ond incident concerned the adjustment of the federal judici- 
ary. A writ of c erti ori was issued from the federal district 
co'urt of North Carolina by the direction of three of tiie 
United States Supreme Court judges {Bl<a,ir, Rutledge, and 
ffilson) , directeu to tne Court of Equity in Nortli Carolina, 
for bringiiig up an equity case.^ The state judges refused 
obedience to tiie writ and denied the Supreme Court's authori- 
ty in tlie case. Tiie General Assembly at once passed a vote of 
tnanks"' to the judges for their action. The ease was never 
acted on afterward and with tne early reform of tiie judiciary 
was tiirown out. 

1. Journal of tr.e House. N. C. State Recorus .C<I , 1021. 

2. Dallas, U, S. Supreme Court Reports II, 412. 

3. N. C. State Records XXI , 1054. 


The Assembly passed strong resolutions^ against the 
assumption and fandiug measures of Hamilton ; and preemtorily 
instructed the state's senators, Samuel Johnston aixl Benjamin 
Hawkins, to oppose any excise or direct tax by the federal 
government'^. The North Carolina members of the House of Rep- 
resentatives, though not yet all arrived, were opposed to 
the whole scheme. In the debates upon the question Hugh 
Williamson alleged tnat "assumption" would be interference 
witn tiie reserved ri.fjiits of the states and contradictory to 
the interpretation North Carolina had put upon tiie coiistitu- 
tion in her act of ratification. He cited aii amendinent which 
had unanimously passed her ratification convention and had 
been proposed to Congress with the expectation of favorable 
action. The ainendiiient in question declared that congress 
should not directly or indirectly, either by themselves or 
through the judiciary, interfere with aiiy state in its plans 
for liquidating. ana discharging its public debt. Williamson 
showed"^ that North Carolina was ready to accouiit according to 
tiie spirit of the original contract ; a contract that had not 
been altered by the foraiation of a nevi governj-aent. His plan 
was: that a settlement should first be made between the feder- 
al government sind the individual states and the federal gov- 

1. N. 0. State Records XXI, 1055. 

2. Ibid XXI, 1020, 1049. 

3. Gales and Seaton. Hist, of Congress, I, 1490, speech of 

Hugh Williamson on AoBUiupt ion. 

ernmeut then be allowed to aaauine tue reiiainder still due Trcm 
the country. 

The aitit lae oi" Nortn Caroliiia materially delayed 
the assoiiiption prograiu, Smitu of South Carolina, SedgwicK 
of Maasachueetts, am Jackaou of Georgia replied at length to 
Williajiison's speech. Jackson's position was one of concilia- 
tion. He said: "A bare majority, if tiie measure be carried, 
is all that can be expected, and I v/ill ask if this bare ma- 
jority woald satisfy Nortn Carolina? Suppose it carried by 
this majority, am the people of North Carolina will not sub- 
nit, is it intended to reduce tnem to obedience by force? Is 

this a language for freemen? Reconcile them 

to the measare; bring forward your funds; show tiiem they are 
not to be oppressed, am you will accomplish this business 
much sooner."-^ In the meantime the renainaer of the North 
olina's delagation arrived at New York, Their accession made 
the non-assumption party the strongest, and thereupon, the de- 
bates upon the subject ended for the tiae. The proposition 
was not again brought forward until Liie opportunity ocaurred 
later to pair it with, tae controversy between the Northern 
and Southern States over the seat for the federal capitol. 
The outcome ./as the well-known compromise by which the states 
debts were assumed and the site for the capitol located on 
the banks of the Potomac. 
1. Gales and Seaton, Hiat. of Cong. H, 150^^. 

The federal excise laws ol' 1791, I'rom which the as- 
auni^Jt ionists purposed to derive the fluids to carry oat tjieir 
measures, occasioned great ferment in ail the mouiitainous re- 
gion of the United States. The greatest storm centre was 
Western Pennsylvania, the trouble there culminating in 1794 
in the "iVhiskey Insurrection". In Western North Carolina, if 
resistence to the excise laws was less organized, it was not 
the less effective. Distillers refiased to pay the tax. Fed- 
eral collectors were powerless and discretely remained out of 
the excited localities. The spirit of resistance spread also 
to the eastern counties and the pop'olar ferment did not abate 
until the excise laws amended . 

A general discont with the measures which congress 
had deemed necessary for adjustment of the new regime acceler- 
ated in North Carolina the reaction to federalism. The first 
political victim of the reaction was Sarauel Joiiiiston, who, re- 
garded as the most uncompromising federalist in tiie state, 
failed to secare his re-election to the United States Senate 
when his term expired in March 1792. Alexander Martin was 
chosen as his successor. Martin rajiked as a radical until his 
return from the Philadelphia convention in 1787, after witich 

1. McRee li, 330, 335 cf. Davie to Iredell, August 2, 1791, 
and Johnston to Iredell, April 15, 17'j1. 

he continuously advocated tiie adoption of me constitution arti. 
in 1789 was elected governor by the federalists in recojpiiticn 
of his services. In 1792 he was a^ain in the confidence of 
the ant i- federalists and owed to them his election to the 
senate. In the congressional elections of 1795 the anti-fed- 
eralists were successful in every district save one--tlie 
scotch district in the Cape Lear rer^ion . ?/ith Johnston re- 
tired to private life the renaining federalist leaders quietly 
supported practically the sane state ri^^iits principles as the 
anti-federalists. James Iredell, whoa^ nVashin^ton had appoint- 
ed to the Suprenie Court bench, set them the exauiple in his 
dissenting opinion in the case of Ghishol in y & . _ CJeor^j^^ . 

This case, before the Supreme Court of the United 
States in 1792 and 1793, raised the question whetner a state 
could be sued by a citizen of anotlier state and, bearing di- 
rectly upon the question of state sovereignty, thus attracted 
general attention. The opinion of ti;e Goiirt affirmed the 
right of suit by a citizen and that the state v/as ainenable to 
the jurisdiction of tiie Supreme Court, thus decidiiig against 
Cieorgis. and in favor of Chisholm, a citizen of South Carolina. 

1. Under liie new apportionji:ient on tlie basis of txie census of 

1790 North Carolina no.v had ten Representatives. 

2. For tne report of this important case see Dallas* U. S. 

Supreme Court Reports, II, 419 - 480. 

Jaatice Ireaell, nowever, tfrote a ciisBentiiic opinion 
which contained the firat expression of state rights doctrine 
eminatinc from iiie Sapreaie Court. Iredell argued tnat t^ie 
states were successors to lae sovereignty i^renched from tiie 
English cro>vn, and upon this ue built up tne theory of dele- 
gated or divided sovereignty, holding tnat every state in the 
Union, in every instance wnere its sovereignty had not been 
delegated to the United States was as coinpletely sovereign as 
were the United States in respect to tne powers delegated by 
the federal compact. A state, rexnaining sovereign, coiild not, 
therefore, be sued by individuals. Georgia acted upon the 
theory laid down by Iredell and stood at defiance. The judg- 
ment remained unenforced until ti.e eleventh amendment to tne 
United States Constitution, ratified in 1798, removed such 
questions from the cognizance of tne Court. 

Tne Republican party throughout tne country receiv- 
ed Iredell's opinion as an exposition of its own theory of a 
definite line of deiTiarcation betv^een tne rights reserved by 
the states and tiiose aelegated to tne federal government. 
The opinion is t;ie more interesting in tiiis con:\ection be- 
cause uf Iredell's influence upon the adoption of tne consti- 
tution by Nortn Carolina. His interpretation of its provi- 
sions in 1793 was in tne same state rights spirit witn he had 
defended it in 178o - 1789. 

Tiie Alien and SeciiLiuii Aata pcibt>ed by Gongreba in 
Jane and Jjly 1798, gave the Republicans tiieir next ouportani- 
ty to raise tae state riciiis issue. These acts placed lar^e 
- discretionary power in uie hands of the president and had a 
s decided monarchical flavor. The Kentucky Resolutions , pass- 
ed in protest at the instance of Thornas Jefferson, made a 
great advance on tne doctrine contained in Iredell's opinion 
in the Georgia case. In tnese Resolutions each state, as a 
party to the const itational compact, to which it had acceded 
as a state, v/as declared to be its Okvn final judge as to in- 
fractions of the constitution by tne federal goveri:in^ent ; and 
that, wnenever me federal government ass'umed undelegated pov/- 
ers its acts were unauthoritative, void, and of no force. The 
Alien and Sedition Acts were declared to be the product of as- 
sumed powers and therefore void. Resolutions followed from 
Virginia^ supporting those of Kentucky. Copies of both were 
sent to all tne otner states. 

The time of their reception in Nortn Carolina was 
vmpropitious for their success in creating sentiment against 
the goveniuient. ffm. R. Davie was governor and, though rankii-g 

1. Elliots Debates IV, 540. Preston's Docuinents, 295i 

2. Elliots Debates IV, 528. 


asa uls.te ri^^iiis leaerali&t, was zealous I'or i:i^^ L.arovy ox' ibe 
Union. Tlie governor roriii ^vitii took Uie {^rO'Ond that at this 
particalar jonctare tne Union's existence was in more daiiger 
t.ian tne ri^nts of the States.^ He tnerei'ore threv/ all his 
ini'laenoe against any legislative cori)oration witn Virginia 
and Keiitacky. The Kentucky Resolutions came before tiie North 
Carolina Assembly December 21, IV'Jo, aim on tae 24tii a mild 
resolution was introdi.iced in ti:e Senate expressing tae pain 
with whicii tne body viewed tiie enactment oi' tae Alien and Se- 
dition laws. Davie's i'oliOi/ers secured its rejection by a 

close vote. Tae lo.ver Hoase on tne scune day passea a some- 

'6 . . 

what stronger resolution and, disregardxug tae senc^te, oruer- 

ed copies Torwarded to senators and representatives. No joint 
action was ever iiaa. Bat ine attitJ-ue of North Carolina to- 
ward tae "Doctrine of 179^" i/as not one of hostility. Her 

1. Governor Davie's alarm v/as genuine. In the soinmer of 1799 

having closely interviewed souie gentlemen jast retarned 
froiu tae races at Petersburg, Virginia, he wrote Jadge 
Iredell taat tae Virginia leaaers seemed aetermined 
upon the overthrow of tae general goverr^iient ; taat if 
no otaer metnod woalu effect it, taey woalu risk it 
upoi": Uie chances of ^ar. He understood taat some of 
taem talxed of seceding; wnile otaers advocateu tiie 
policy anu practicability of severing tiie Union into 
two portions. McRee 11, Dj.vie to Ireaeii, Jane 17, 

2. Journal of tiie N. C. Senate, 1798, 75 - 77, 

o. Jojriiai of tae N. C. Hoase of Coaimons, 17 9o, 7o, 

non-action ufas ciae to tue disinclination on tue part ol" the 
state administration to encourage dissensions at a tiijiu or 
sucii high part/ feeiiu£:« 

Unroll a a.xooessor to President Washington was lo bP 
choben iu 1796, nine North Oarolina districts chose Jefferson 
electors ana one, tiie Scotch district, an Adsui^s elector. Bat 
in 1300, as t;:e stonn and streas of federal politics increas- 
ed, the ola federalist forces began to fear for ti^e safety 
of the Union and tne party showed signs of reviving strength . 
The Jay Treaty, tne Alien and Sedition Acts, and the "Re Eola- 
tions of '96", together with personal jealousies of tne na- 
tional leaaers, had all combined to lena a bitterness to the 
presidential contest in 1800 that caused a very general appre- 
hension of the Disruption of tae Union'^. 

The res'jlt of tnis apprehension in North Carolina 
enabled the federalists to carry foar electoral districts for 
Adams, one of tnem being tne Western or Salisbury district. 
The Republican aefeat here inarked tiie beginning of the rever- 
sion uf tne whole western iialf of the state tu its old princi- 
ple of antagonism to Eastern control*^, under wnatever party 

1. Ralei;3h Register, Dec. 3, 1799. 

2. i:ii\ Von Hoist, Gonstit j.tional am Political History of tiie 

Unitea States, I, 168. 
2. Infra, Chap. 111. 


name tne control mighi be exercised. Though the feaeralists 
had Qiade a goou right for regeneration of their party they 
v/ere now practically without a atate leader of note. Iredell 
had died in 1799, Saiaael Johnston had passed into pettish 
and gruxiibling retireuient. iWm. R. Davie had accepted Presi- 
dent Adams' appointuient as one of the three envoys extraordi- 
nary to the coart of the first Gonsol. Thus stripped of its 
old prominent leaders tne federalist party in North Carolina 
fell into complete disorganisation upon tae election of Jef- 
ferson to tne presider^cy in 1360. Thereafter the several dio- 
tricts whicii reriiained federalist were animated more by sec- 
tional state issues than by differences witn the Republicans 
on National questions. 

The Republican party on the other hand noitf rapidly 
entrenched itself in places of po^/er. Through representative 
Nathaniel Macon Jefferson judiciously used the federal patron- 
age in the state appointments, only those of unquestioned loy^ 

alty to Republican principles being placed in office . Macon 

was a worthy deciple of Willie Jones witii even more ultra 

democratic principles tnan his political i^receptor. He had 

1, Tnis was Adams' famous second mission to France, composed 

of Oliver Elswortn, \Vm. Vans Murray and Davie. The 
latter was appointea to fill tne place declined by 
Patrick Henry. 

2. Dodd. Life of Natnaniel luucon, 169. 


been in Goncress since 1791 and by ine end oi' tae centary had 
assumed the leadership of me party relinquished by Jones. 
His position in natio:ial politics as Sijeaker of the Hoase of 
Representatives from 1801 to 1806 did not lessen his interest 
irx party affairs in tne state. 

The first two aecades of the new centary North Car- 
olina, Republican tnroa{:;noat in each branch of her government, 
uniformily supported tne successive national adiainistratioi:is 
of tne Republican party. Tne problem before tne general gov- 
ernment duriiig tae first fifteen years was to prevent the hu- 
miliation and commercial rain of tne young republic at the 
hands of either France or England. The protests of the North- 
ern Federalists, vi'o.en in 1812 Madison's administration opened 
war on England; found no answering echo aaiong their former 
party associates in North Carolina . Still more profound was 
the silence when the New England federalists in 1814 met in 
tne Hartford Convention for tne generally understood purpose 
of forcing a peace witii England, or, failing in tiiat , to pos- 


sibly secede from tne Uiaion^. 

Since tne Hartford Convent ioi\ practically re-assert- 
ed only "iup aoctrine laid down in tixe Kentucky Resolutions of 

1. Gf. ^'iebsage of Gov. Vin. Hawkins to tne Nortii Carolina Gen- 

eral Assembly, Nov. 18, 1612, Executive Letter Book. 

2. The Repurt of txifi Hartford Convention is given in 7 J-^iles 

Register, 305 - 31o. 

1 V. 

1798 , the Repablican party , with state rights as its cardi- 
nal principle, could only attack the policy of the New Englaixl 
states on the ground mat their action aas a betrayal of tiie 
cause 01 coiouion defense . Nortn Carolina Repablicaniam, taere- 
fore, freely conceded to Massachase'Lts and her confreres at 
Hartford the right to speak their sovereign wills. Bat the 
concession »vas coupled writu trie suggestion that tney should 
speak through their legislatures, and at a time vilaen all were 
not endaiigered by a public enemy ; in short, that "they sho.ald 
speak like Americans"^, Tne timely ending of tne vvar relieved 
the situation for the Republican party at large, and the chief 
result of the Hartford Convention was to arav/ odium upon tne 
federalist party sufficient to assure its swift dissolution. 

From 1815 to 1320 North Carolina, in common with the 
rest of the Union, enjoyed a perioa of political calm which 
Ccune as a ;;elcome relief after tne party strife and turmoil 
preceding and accompanying tne «var v\fith England. The people 
seemed satisfied witn the type of Republicanism administered 
successively by Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. Tne Union, 
now that it had stooa tne test of a war, became a fixture in 

1. Von Hoist, I, 266, holas mat me tiieory in tne Kentucky 

Resolutions #as identical witii tiiat upon vvhich tno 
Hartford Convention actea. 

2. Raleigh Register. Deo. b, lol-i, and Jan. 27, 1315. 


the political conceptions oi" tne people. Sentiiuent, as well 
as political wisdom and experience, was beginning to form a 
bulwark for its protection . 

The period of calm was soon broken, hov/ever, by the 
development of a serious political contest betv^oen the North 
and the Soutii oyer slavery. Its occasion was the application 
of Missouri to be adzriitted into the Union as a slave state. 

A North Carolina newspaper of Feb. 26, 1819, gave 
the first intimation to lae people of the state that tne ques- 
tion had been opened as a sectional issue. It said : "In tne 
House of Representatives yesterday a decision took place in a 
committee of tne whole, which, if confirmed by the House, may 
be expected to have an important bearing on the political re- 
lations of tne tieveral states"'^. This decision was to require 
of Missouri, as the condition of her adxiiission, tiie prohibi- 
tion of tiie further introauction of slaves, and emancipation 
of all slave children after tne admission as soon as tiiey 
reached the a^^e of t. verity- five. Tnis was tne first instance 
of such a condition being proposed as the condition of admis- 
sion for a new state and iue South at once saw in it a purpose 

1. 17 Niles Register, ol , has a very interesting accoLint at 

tiiib aate of a fervezit prayer for tue permanence of tl-fi 
Union uttered by a North Carolina Revolutionary veterai 
upon his death bed. 

2. American Recorupr. Feb. 2(i , lol'J. 

on the part of t»ie rree states to circomscribe aiii tiias final- 
ly to stran^;le slavery Jaat when, on aocoant of the increased 
deaiand for cotton by Europe since uie v/ar of 1812, the insti- 
tution ivas beginning to retorn a very large profit." The 
Missouri compromise and its discaasion, therefore, clearly 
demonstrated tiiat in slavery arose tiie gravest domestic qaes- 
tion nitnerto set I'or the solation of tiie Auierican people. 
Strict construction and state rin;iits, less empiiasized in tne 
South since tne Repablican ascenaency in 1800, nov/ assumed 
their old tiaie prominence. 

Tne North Carolina legislatare gave no official ut- 
terance to tne sentiuient of the state upon the Missouri ques- 
tion, so that ive mast rely upon its ne\^/spapers and ihe utter- 
ances of public men for local public opinion. Newspapers v/ere 
just begimin,'-'; to exercise tiiat pov/erful influence upon North 
Carolina politics which reaciied its climax with uie group of 
strong editor-politicians of tne period 1850 - 18G0. Tne 
Raleigh Hef-ister , tiie official mouthpiece of tiie Republican 
party since its establishment in 1799, published both sides 
of the Missouri debates, begiruiing witn tiie speech of Otis of 
Massachusetts ana continuing tnroagh tne series. Its edito- 
rials ffere in tne ortnodox vein of decided or-osition to any 

1. Cf. Von Hoist. I, 4iio. 

2. Ralei^n Register, Murcii o, 1820, et seq, 


restriction upon Missoari. Tue Miner v;.>,. claiiMiiic no i^arty 
naave bat representing wiiat liiiie oi'i-osition tu lae Repabli- 
Ci.ns reiiiainea iTom old Federalist days, assumed an attitode 
very diflerent to the Repiist er. It said, January 26, 1820 : 
"ffe doubt whether it be possible to answer Mr. Kinf;'s speech 
of the last session against granting to tiiis new state (Mis- 
soari) txie privile£;;e oi' holding; our rellov'/iaen in bondage. Yet 
our Northern brethren will generously remember tiiat it is not 
always possible for tae most honest to be Jast". A uionth 
later tne sdiue paper asserted the oonstitationality oi' re- 
striction,^ and auLtea : "It ib equally certain tnat true poli- 
cy forbids tiie extensi on, as it s.Jbi.iits to tne toleration of 

slavery . Proceeding, tnis editorial predicted, tiiat inas- 
much as tlie evil of slavery was of such magnitude and involved 
a species of property which was bolstered up by tne stabborn- 
ness o. interest ajid prejudice, half a century would be re- 
quired to exterpate it. Two weeks later tiie Minerva declared 
an open ana defi^^ite hostility to tne extension of slavery a-.-^ 
began to advocate some form of ij:i*adual emancipation. Letters 
and addresses were published weekly on the subject, t:ie aca- 
demic productions of even college students on tne rights of 

1. Tne Minerva, Feb. 11, 1820. 

2. Minerva, Feb. 25, 182". 


men, iucladiuc the slave, iinaiiic ready welcome i:i itu col- 

Thoagii the Minerva voiced tne known sentiinent of 


several detached groups m Nortn Oarolijia, and undoabtedly 

tiiat oi" even a respectable uiinority throui;hout the state, 
those who had sach opinioiis as lo slavery restrictions were 
totally onorsanized and their pov;er, uierefore, vias corres- 
pondingly ineffectual. Yet on the Missouri question the dif- 
fereiwe in sentiruent betv/een the North Uarolirja members in 
Congress was scarcely less radical tiitiu tnat bet^veen tue 
Register and the Minerva . 

Natiianiel Wacon, nov; in tne Senate, represented as 
always the state rights repablicanism of tne eastern North 
Carolina slave-holders. He opposed to tne end the whole plan 
of Uie coriii,iroraise, on tiie ground tnat it woiO-d be an adi:iissicn 
on the part of tne South that Congress could set meets aiia 
bounds to slavery. He held tnat each ne.v territory, when 
ready for statehood, should come into tne Union with such in- 
stitutions as it chose to adopt, provided sacli instit atior.s 

1. Ibed, March 10, 1820, et seu. 

2. These groups were tne Quaker Count ies--(juilford, Randolph 

a;;d Ohathaxn ; the Mora/ian center at Salem ; aaid the 
mountain coanties where slavery was a subject of i:i- 


were not repiipnaiit to iaeas entertained by Uie states 
when they created tne U)iion, Macon oast his vote against tlie 
final i)assage oi' the laeasare anci was followed by six of liie 
state's representatives in tne Hoase. Montford Stokes, Macon's 

colleacue iii t:;e Ger^ite, voted for tne comproaiise ixieasare in 

each stage of its progress. In a letter to Governor Branch 

explaining his action, Stokes made some general observations 
on the subject of slavery which evidently exj^ressed the views 
of fiiany others in the state. He had voted for tne comprom- 

ise, he said, in order that tne South might secure tne portion 
of ti;e Louisiana Purchase below oG° 30' as an asylum for 
slaves already too nuiiierous to be comfortably supported in 
the Southern border states. Further, he had "a cliaritable 
and respectful regard for the feelings, ana even tne preju- 
dices, of that great portion of tne Northern people tiiat was 
averse to slavery in any form, and tiiat would join heartily 
with us in any constitutional measure to get rid of the evil." 
This letter uiscloses conflictinri; senti;uents. As a 
practical border-state politician Stokes felt that slavery 

1. Aniialo of Congress. IGth Cong., 1st sess. , I, 219. et_seq, 

for Macon's speech on tne Compromise pla'n. 

2. Publ. in Haleign Register, March 17, 1820. 

3. iiae .Vestern Carolinian, March 25, 1820, and Star, April 1, 

1820, endorsed Stokes' views. 



mir^ht be renderea lesb an evil by its dirfasion over a larger 
territory. A altive uoid by a Vir^^iyaa or Wortii Carolina to- 
bacco planter to a cotton planter in Alabanua. or Arkansau meaiit 
t'.e transference of labor from a aiarket over-sui jlied to 
uuider-supplied. Sach a transfer of a slave helped, to that 
extent, to relieve tue conf^estion upon tue tobacco pla:itatio:i. 
At tne saiue tiaie, his purchase price reiaained i;i tne iia;xi.s of 
the tobacco planter, probably to be necessarily expended in 
the purchase of food and clothinf; for tne still too numerous 
and yet ever increasing blacks.-^ It >vas tiius, as tue repre- 
sentative of a border slave state, t :■.-'. t StoKes spoke for tne 
diffusion of slavery. On tue contrary his words relative to 
some constitat ional metnod by which to ria the country of 
slavery must be regarded as spoken in a persor^al sense and 
partially as ex]:>ressing tiie tneoretical hostility to slavery 

of tnat section of North Carolina from which he carae the 

irio unt a i no u s iVe s t . „ 

1. TiiP aggregate population u: ixorti: C.-.rolinc. in iv-.20 was 

600, 329. Of tnese 205,017 *vere slaves and 14,612 were 
free negroes. Tne great bulk of the slaves were ir. the 
North and Midcde Fast, i.e. in tne tier of tobacco 
counties which bordered Virginia and ir. the irregular 
tier of counties wiiicn rari. south-westward across tne 
state at tiie upper li.iiits of tide-water. 

2. Senator Stokes .vas a native of *Vilkes County. 


Hhen the Missouri coupruiuiue iiad pat,ued into history 
a period of party feniiputatiou berjan. Tlie Republican party, 
occupying the whole field witaout a rival, embraced in its 
ranks a nuinber or btrong and forceful leaders of the yoancer 
school or politics wiiose interests and policies v/ere likely 
to clash. Among these were Henry (Jlay, Daniel w'ebster, Joim 
Q,, Adanis , vVu:. H, Crawford, John C. Calhoun slitq. Andrew Jackso:i. 
Internal improvements, the Unitea States banks, aiiu tne tariff 
showed &i>i-ns of becomi]!^ leading issues. But Jackson's deadly 
straggle v/ith the bank iiad not yet ber;jii, Glay *as already 
identified with the policy of a protectioii tariff, Galnoan 
in 1815 had been friendly to a moderate tariff, tne tariff 
meas-ore of tnat year being acquiesced in by the whole Soath. 

Bat tne tariff bill of 1820 foana tne Soutn practically solid 


in oppositioii to farth'='r increase of duties. Galhooii now 

constituted himself the leader of Soutner!i anti-tariff for 
ces, and his lastiiig ejwiity to Clay's "Aiuerican System" becacE 
an almost draiiiatic feature of AiTierican politics. 

As ti:e presidential election of 1824 approached the 
Union presented an aspect on onusual political confusion, due 

1. Aiuialb of Cong. Ist Se£<s. 1271. 

2. Cf. I^iles Hegifc.ter,vol. li , p.. . 1-39, 17.j, Nortn Carolina 

cast on*" vote for tiie tariff bill of 1820 ; so also did 
Marylanu, Virginia, etna Soatn Carolina. Temiesspe , 
Mississip; i, AlaDama. ana Louisiana were oiaaiuimoas 
against it. 


maiiily to ii:e rival ciaimb oi' i-.xe naiiierouti leaciertj. Nortn 
Carolina politics was a reflection of ti.ut of lue Union. The 
state //as TRepublioan to be sure. Bat iviiat were Repablican 
principles? <7ho reprefaeuted tne Republican party? iiVas it 
Crawford of Georgia, Jackson of Te:inessee, or Adams of Massa- 
cirasetts? Each of meae claiiued tue honor am nad raised his 

Despite t.e obscurity of party lines aiu tiie lack of 
definiteness of party principles ti:iere were political under- 
currents in North Carolina whicii never lost tneir way. Craw- 
ford was re/carded as tne successor to tiie old state rights re- 
publicanisi'n of Jefferson and Madison as opposed to tnc young 
national republicanism of tae //estern a»xi Northern leaders. 
Therefore, tiie slaveholding section of North Carolina, the 
wealthy and populous Middle East, true to political instinct, 
caaie to Crav/ford's support." The ipVest, lesa influenced by 
slavery, haa not developed the strong strict coiistraction 
principles which, since 1789, had co.'itrolied tne East. Tne 
line of sectional cleavage was xiow the more distinct also be- 
cause of tiie insistent deuiand of the '^est for reform of the 
state Constitnion ana an equalization of representation." 

1. Macon had designated Crawford as early as 1321 as the"fiiost 
republican ana tx.e most economical" of tne prospective candi- 
dates. Macon to Bartlett Yancey Deo. 12, 1821, Doaci, oo4. 

2. infra chap. 111. 


State parties, therefore, were already formed aiad tneae readi- 
ly adjusted themselves to tne parties taJcing form xinaer Uie 
Natioiial leaders, itfnen tne East declarea for Crawford the 
vYest as naturally declared against hici. Tiic .Vcstern party at 
first adopted Calhoun as its candidate against ti^e "caacas" 
or Crawford ticKPt. But ahen the coalition between tne Jack- 
son and Calhojn forces oocarred iv. March 1824, with tne first 
place assigned to Jackson, the combination, kiiown as the Peo- 
ple's Ticket, lost nothing of its popular favor. 

When tne General Abseuibly met in November, 1823, 
the members arranged themselves into Eastern and '.Vestern par- 
ties, A .Vestern member S0021 introdaced a resolution to in- 
struct tne state's senators and representatives in Congress 
to refrain from entering into a congressional nominating cau- 
cus. The resolution \Yas purely a party move and .vas aimed at 
the old Republican party practice of naiiiin-' its presiaential 
candidate by the caucus juetnoa. Hence tne Crawford forces at 
once attacked the resolution aiui a heated debate"^ of tnree 
days duration ensued wnich finally resulted in a defeat of tlB 

1. Cf. Star. Marcii 5, ana karcii 12, 1824. 

2. M. C. House of Coaj;;ons Journal, 1823, 155. 

3. The Jebates on the Fisher, or Anti-Caucus Re solutions, are 

published in weekly iasups of Raleigii Register froin 
March 1 to May 5, 1824. 


instruct irv; measare by a close vote. The Eastern members 
then proceeded to hold a caucus on December 24, and recomnendr 
ed Crawford to tne people. A i'evif montnu later tne kVasnin^^ton 
caucus formally a:inoixnced Crawford 'a candidacy aita tne Kar- 
risburp; Conver.tion tliat of Jackson. Clay had rp^^^i put forward 
by tne legislature of Kentucky ard Adams by Massachusetts. 

In the meantime tne tiiree Quaker Counties, Gjilford, 
Randolph, and Chatham, makiiir; up a district in the center of 

the state, held a mpeting at Greensboro, endorsed Adaj"as' can- 

didacy, and passed resolutions condemning "the attempts wlaidi 

have been made to express tne voice of the people". Jackson 

was named by tne Quakers as tiieir second choice. Only t./o 

sets of electors, however, were placed before tiie people of 

the state and tnese were pledged respectively to Grav/ford an;l 


1. Natnaniel Macon, though a supporter of Crawford, refused 

to attend tne Congressional Caucus on the ground that 
he opposed all oligarchical methods. See Dodd, 337. 

2. This was in recognition of Adams' defense of tiie ri";ht of 

petitioia. The Nortn Carolina Quakers had always oppos- 
ed slavery and iiad utilizeu lae rigiit oi peaceful peti- 
tion to Congress in order to register tjxeir protests 
against it. They .lad now for a number of years prac- 
ticed nianjmistiion and when this practice oa/ae into con- 
flict witii positive state laws they adopted the method 
of colonization in Hayti. See Annals of Congress, 
5th Cong., ist sess. , 475, for first Quaker petition 
from North Carolina in regard tu slavery. Also see 
27 Niles Register, 226, 289 and 20 Niles Register 247 
and 447 for instable es of large shipment of slaves to 
Hayti by K. C. Quakers. 


Tiip People's tioicet ver aub the jaucua ticket e:ili8t- 
ed tlie interest of everyone who coold be aroused to evince a 
party spirit. Party principl«=>s were ill defined ajid entirely 
secondary. Tne tidiest ion of ine method of liaiaiiv;; the candida- 
i tea, ivas r^iven the chief attention in I'iorth Carolina. Both 
sides iiade t;ieir appeals to "ti;e people", to "the honest yeo- 
manry", and to "every honest P.epublican". The result, how- 
ever, was not difficult to predict. The i^/est had aitained a 
unanimity for Jackson equal to its solidarity on ilie state 
issue of const itutio!::al reform. Jackson's personality was 
"also awakening enthusiasm in the East amoiv^ the classes which 

were less committed by interest and affinity to old state 

1 . ^ 

rigiits Republicanism. Moreover, Crawford s ill heeilth de- 
creased his chances of success in the state. 

The aiajority for tne People's ticket in November was 
4794 votes. Of the sixty-tnree coionties composii^ the state, 
forty-tv;o gave Jackson majorities. This number v/as exclusive 
of thp three Q,uaker coun.ties v/hich had finally given tueir 

1. Star. ?eb. 6, 1824. 

2. Crawford iiad been stric.cen with partial paralysis soon af- 

ter his nomination and his recovery seemed aomewiiat 
doubtful CIS tiie canfjaign progressed. 

3. Executive ivi S. Letter Book, 1824, 120, 

vote 10 Orawrrord as ine weaker cajididate in .ae hoije of cuat- 
the election iiuo ir.e tioase oi" Representatives. The reuuiiiider 
of the twenty-one Crawford counties were middle eastena a:-id 
covered the genera] area in which slave population was great- 

On the first day of December the electors met in 
the State capitol and gave a xinanimous vote for Jackson and 
Calhoun, one gun being fired for each elector a.ix\ one extra 
for Henderson, a western co^a:ity whicn liad given a unanimoas 
vote for tae People's Ticket. Two months later the v/ill of 
the state v/as subverted by ihe action of its representatives 
iv. Congress. vViien tiie election was thrown into the Hoase for 
a clioice from the trio, Jackson, Adaias, a:ia Crawford, tiie 
thirteen Represezitatives from North Carolina voted according 
to party. Ten of tiie number raniied as all Republicans and in 
consequence gave their votes to Crawford. Two voted for Jack- 
son ; and one, the tiiefliber from the Quaker district, gave his 


vote to Adams. 

From tiie standpoint of logical development the 
course of North Caroliiia politics darin.-j: tiie succeeding four 

1. Star, Dpc. 3, 1824. 

2. Tiius, si?ice Adams was elected, tue Qualcer vote was the 

only effectual one r:iven by the state. 


years was anomalous. The state rirciits or Eastena i^arty execat- 
ed a political somersault before 1828 a.\xi in inat year sup- 
ported Jackson with the saiae energy with wnich it had opposed 
hiiVi in 1824, The reaso'.i iu not far to seek. Jackson was now 
the only opponent of Adams, and, as a Southerner, was natural- 
ly regarded as a safer guardian of Southern interests. The 
]r.aster>i party, by ci sort of political diviiiation, estirmted 
hiai as at heart a state ri^^iits man, ana thib estiuiate ever 
afterv/ard remained uncnanged even though succeeding events 
apparently contradicted it. The ii/est, where Jackson's popu- 
larity in the state had originated, did not at once relin- 
quish. its candidate to the ?ast but cast its vote for him in 
1828, Yet a restlessness of such harmony rapidly developed 
in tnat section after the election and the soil becanje fertile 
for the growth of Wiiig principles. 

In the meajitime an issue had arisen in national pol- 
itics which was to illastrate as graphically as had tiie Mis- 
souri controversy and ti^ie vote on tiie tariff bill of 1820 the 
diverging interests of tae Worth and tiie South, A higii tariff 
bill was proposed in Congress in 1827 airi. failed to become 

1. Gf. >Vestern Garolinianiasaes from Dec. 15, 1828 ejt se.g. 


law only by the aastiixc vote oT vJalhoiui as president of the 
Senate. In February of the following-; year tiie tariff uieasure 
since known as "tne tariff of abominations" v;as enacted into 
lav/. Though the opposition to taia tariff measure, on tiie 
ground of unequal benefits to sections, becaaie gejieral 
throuirhout the South , tiie direction ,3iven tnis opposition by 
South Oarolijia caused ner sister southern states to halt in 
their support. Her reinedy of nullification, deduced from the 
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, was to be practi- 
cally applied by a sovereign state in abrogation of feder- 
al laws within her borders. 

The tariff and nullification controversy, intimate- 
ly bound up with a personal dii'ference between Presideiit Jack- 
son and Vice-President Calhoun, the great exponent of the 
nullification doctrine, extended over a period of five years. 
During this period North Carolina pursued the course she felt 
befct fitted to sec^ire a repeal of tiie obnoxious tariff aiid at 
the sauje time to preserve her original attitude toward state 
rights without endorsing the radical activity of South Caro- 
lina, Just after tae tariff bill of 1827 so nearly became a 

1, Act, May 19, 1828. 


law Governor Jai.ies Iredell, aiilicipati)^'; that tiae protectioii- 
ists woald again briiv; forward tae ueasare at tae next session 
of Goncress, recoauiiended to t.;e Nortii Carolina Assembly to pjt 
on record soaip form of protest. Aocordincly a resolution v/as 
passed which declared taat any increase of iiuport duties by 
Congress was iiiexpedient and ixnv^ise. . That tnis simple res- 
olution mi£,ht the more effectively give tae ear of Congress 
its preamble, while admittiiig that Congress had constitution- 
al power to lay such duties, declared i:ievertiieless tliat "in- 
terestj.either pecuniary or political, is Zi\e great point of 
Union, from the smallest association up to the Confederacy of 
Americiin States ; tiiat whenever a system is adopted by the 
general government which does not equally conserve the inter- 
ests of all tiie states then tue right rests v/ith any state or 
states to question whetiier tae benefits of t.^e Union are not 
more than counterbalanced by its evils". Tnis guarded ejqjrea- 
sion of state rights sentiaent was a blov; in tiie \iater, Ir.e 
objectionable tariff being passed a uionth later. 

1. Mebsage Nov. 29, 1027. Executive Letter Book, U. S. Gov. 

Iredell was l.;e son of Judge James Iredell of ti"ie U, S. 

2. Jourr^l of tae N. C. Gen. Absy, 1827 - 28, p. 101. 


Jlfitii Adaiiis ' dei'eat by Jackson, Koveiaber 1828, tue 
belief becaiiie current i); iJorth Carolina that tariff would 
be repealed as soon as tlie new adiuiixistratio}! took its defi- 
nite coii.rse. Events drifted, however, Tiie Kayne-iVebster 
debate ocGurred in January, 1830, auid intensified interest in 
the straijied situation. Though not yet ripe for action, the 
course Sojtii Carolina would pursue was a foregone conclusion. 
The question before tne Union, tuerefore, was hov; far tiiat 
state would be supported by tiie other Southern States. 

For No^th Carolina this question was answered di- 
rectly by the people on Inaependence Day. Fourth of July cel- 
ebrations were helu in nearly every county in the state and 
were uiade the occasion of a plebiscite 021 tne Soutn Carolina 
doctrine. The tirue -honored castOi-n of speaking to toasts was 
in vogue at political meetings ai'^d in this practise North Car- 
olinians, inspired by the ix-itive vintage of corn, were not 
backward. At Ashboro ire following taeue inspired uie orator 
of the day and evoked the applause of tae people : "The Union 
of tne States - uiiiteu we stand, divided v;e fall I He .7 no 
wantonly engenaers a feeling of hostility between tne States 

1, Tnis view was ex^jreased in lue newspapers ana in Guv. 

Owen's Message to Absembly. Hov. 19, 1829. Ms Letter 



instead of soothing it to iarmony is a traitor to nib eo.uitry. 
Let v.o bucia man be traated". Ai tiiiitiboro : "State Riy;ts 
and Federal Powers - IT tue line or uemarcation betv/een tiiem, 
as drawn by txie rrai.jer or tae const it atiou, snould be preserv- 
ed uiaobscured by tiie refineaients of construction, oar Union 
will stand throu{;hout Tiflie, as the proud mon.vnent oT tue ca- 
pacity of a rree people to ?^overn tiieji^selves". At Fi.yette- 
ville : "Oar Siater State--Soutii Oaroliiia. vYe esteem her 
worth, b-at deprecate iier exai;.ple. iVe taerefore liold her in 
Union a friend -- in dis anion an enemy to oar political insti- 
tutions". S;.'ea^ier vied .vitii speaker everyv/here in expression 
of dissent froni South Carolina's aoctrine, thour;h at tiie same 
tia;e care was taken to so'iiidly rap tne tariff. Calhojn's 
reasoning mi-^iit be without a flaw bat as yet blessings of 
t;:e Union »vere dearer to txie people tiian stateaien's logic. 

When tiie annual Assembly met in Nove^iber it v;as ex- 
pected to register officially tne v^ill of tne people ijpon tiie 
subject. Ajiti-Nallif icatio', Resolations were accordingly 
introduced by Jonati:ian iVorth, a QuaJcer nember from Randolph 

1. Tne newspapers throughout the state printed accounts of 
tiie many celebratiojas and t.^eir most popult,r toasts. 
These tnree iiave been carefully ciiosen as typical a»id 
as exj-jresaive of tJip general be;itiment. Tiiey are fo utl 
in Raleigii Register, Jaly 12, 1830. See Caroline! 
WatCiiman of same date. 


Cou:ity, aiia after a ueateu aeDj.te aiia tilii-)il ai'iie ndme nt , paased. 
the lower branch by a vote or 87 to 27 in tiie rollowin/;'; form: 
Resolved by tne General Assembly of worta Carolina; Tuat 
alt!iou!:;h tne Tariff Laws as they nov/ exibt, are, in t.^e opin- 
ion of tiiis Legislature, an.vise, oneqaal in tneir oi:)eration, 
and opprebiiive to Southern States, yet tniu Legislature 
does not recognize as constitutional the rigiit of an individ- 
ual state of tiiis Union to nullify a law of the Uiiited States. " 
Tne twenty-seven iieciberd wno opposed tiiis resolution were ex- 
treme state ri,';:hts xnen scid were actaated by a fear tiiat the 
repudiation of nullification mignt nean the first successful 
assault upon particularisai. Tney therefore preferred to mal:e 
no concession, even c.s to the questionable doctrine of n.xlli- 
fication, uiiless tae crisis beca.rie acute. The Senate agreed 
with the GoaKiions minor it y and refused to convnit itself. Tne 
larger free-hold qualifications required for niembership in tlB 
Senate aiade tnis branch of the legislature less responaive 
than trie House of Goimions to popular sentiment and more repre- 
sentative of the old Republicanisai of tne East. It formed 
resolutions wiiich emphasized tn*=^ reserved rigiit s of tne states 

1. House Journal, Dec. 31, 1830, p. 257. 

ai-id co5ide:vi2ied t'le tariff as a usurptior. of power by the 
federal co^erjui^^nt ,i but it aas not i^repared to antagonize tlie 
popular branch aau public sentinient furt^.er t^taa to re...uin 

The faraous Nullification Oraiaar-ce of South Gurolina 
thp rebult of a State Convention in 1832, brought the nullifi- 
cation controversy to a crisis. The :«orth Oarolirxa legisla- 
ture was i:"i session when tne ordinance was received. The 
Senate could no lun{^er stay the tide of dissent. Some attempt 
was nade to liiik the tariff with inter^ial improvements and 
make the two together a caube for requestinc ^H the States 
to meet in a federal convent ioia for tne purpose of giving an 
authoritative interpretation of all constitutional questions 
in dispute. But tnis plan failed and tne two Houses thereupon 
came to an agreement and passed anti-nullification resolutions. 
These resolutions contained both the declaration that tne 
tariff was unconstitutional and that nullification was revolu- 
tionary and subversive of the constitution. They were thus a 
compromise between the conservaiism of the Senate and the 

1. The Seriate *as i'i;li;iea to the "Sawyer lesolutio'^s" . 

They were of a strong state rirhts tone. See l-.C. 
House Jour'-al, 1830, 17o. 

2. Senate .lourr-al, 1832 - 33, p. 99; :i. J, House . ouriial 

1632 - 33, pp. 224, 225. 


liberal tenaencies ol" tne CoiinMons. The ueclaratio". tnat the 
tariff was tuicoj^stitational satisfiea the Cenate a?id tne East; 
the condemnation of nallif-cat ion coi.iteiaed. the j^jopolar branch 
and tne \Ve s t . 

Nuiiieroas mass-meetincs in the coar.ties atteBteu :ne 
harmony of the people with the action of tiie legialature. 
The western counties (greeted tne South iJarolina Ordinance with 
a stona of dissent and the popular voice of the East, thou/^h 
slightly confused as to t le relation of nullification to state 
rights, *ras scarcely less condeirmative in tone. The venerable 
Natiianiel Macon, now in voluntary retirement, drew tne line of 
demarcation between: tne two doctri^ies a.':»d finally settled tne 
doubts of £iis party-friends. I.n a letter to a friend he said: 
"T have >iever believed a state could nullify aiid stay in the 
Union, but liave always believed that a state mir-ht secede when 
she pleased, provided she wo old pay her proportion of tiie pub- 
lic debt ; and tnis rirht 1 have considered tne best safe- 

f^uard to public liberty and to public justice tnat could be 

desired". liiis was tJie essence of liortii Carolina particular- 

1. For reports of ti.ese lat^et i^i.^rs see Ralei';-h Rerister, Nov. 

30, Dec. 7, i)ej. 14, and Dec. 21, 1852. Also curren.t 
issues of Carolina ^atciniian a'ld Raleir-h Star. 

2. Macoii to oamael P. Carson, Feb. 9, loSo. Dodd , 385. 


ism aiul vihen tlius set rorth oy iaaooM it i-et at rest tae I'et'.rs 
01 a r;roap oi" eastern politicians who, led by Sariiuel T. Sawyer 
in the Assembly, had oppot-eu tue renunciatio]i of the rir^it of 
a state to nullify lest iii so doing soiue portion oT the ori i- 
nal state-rights doctrine would be endangered. - 

It was with a feelir.:; of relief t::at North Ci-.rolina 
received tne assurance sent forth to the states by Governor 
Hague tiiat South J.irolina would hold her ordinance in abeyance 
until the results of Clay's Coiaprouiise tariff ...easure of 183o 
were known. This tariff redaction lueasure v/eis passed by G021- 
gress but was acoouipanied by a bill for collect i)^; tne revenue 
vinder aiilitary supervision, if needful,. This latter bill, 
> known as tne "force bill", served in part to placate the domi- 
neering spirit of President Jackson a'.xl to save ti^e face of 
Co.igretis.^ Bat reduction of the tariff hc-i.d brougiit relief to 
tne strained situation. The nullification excitement was now 
practically pat-sed. I^i Nortii oaroliiia people buddeiJ.y ceased 
to talk or ^vrite aboat it. Its last echo was tiie introductiai 
of a bill liie following, year to instruct t^.e State';. Sena.tors 
and Representatives to ate t..eir endeavor for ii.e repeal of 

1. Journal h. J. Kojse of OoiiHuons, Jan. 24, 1852, 2;id. 

Sawyer Resolitions. 

2. Of. .ichouler, Hist, of Unitea otates , IV, lOG. 


the" I'ome bill", ^iiicii was aeeiued "inconsibtent witn -he sov- 
ereignty of iiip SiaLeii anu, uiie rei'ore , daiV;;eroab to uie lib- 
erties of tiie people. 

The repudiation of lae doctriiie of noli ifiu.-^.t ion by 
North Carolina can in no sense be interpreted as a renoxicia- 
tionof state-rights as held at tne time of tae adoption of 
the Const it at ion. Tirnt me State ivas profoundly stirred by 'ja 
the ecciteaient is trae ; and tne large noniber of popular meet- 
ings, held in consequence, orfers d,n opi-ortunity to study di- 
rectly the spirit of tne people, and at the aame time show tne 
tendency of tne people of Nortn Carolina, in contra-dist inc- 
tion to its political leaders, to take a direct personal in- 
terest in tne policy of the state. Thoarh these meetii^s al- 
most uniformly registered protests against nullification, onli'- 
one has been discovered by the writer in whicii the sentiment 
was expressed tiiat tne Unitea States constituted one great 

political society and tiiat tne government tiiereof was essen- 

2 ^ 
tially a national government. On uie contrary, tnere were 

evidences in the legislature, in ma ss -meetings, in -iie press, 

1, Journal of N. C. House of Couiuons, lo34, p. 22y. 

2. This uef^limz ''^.s held in li/iliiiington and was presided over 

by Ex-Governor Owen. Strangely inconsistent witn tnis, 
Wilmington was tiie strongest secebsion centre in the 
State in IjoO - lo-.l. See Raleigh Register, Jan 4., 1323 


and ill private corresponueiice .inicii mivuea a ui- iriL tuixiuae 
to find a *i/ay to repudiate tiie doctrine or naliirication, bat 
at ">.iie aauif t iuip to save tii<=' origiiial aocirine ox etate- 
rigxits. Macon'b letter, already cited, probably exiiresbed aa 
ace. irately as coald be done tue attitude ui tae controlxing 
force ill ti.f= State. 

Tne clo&e triuuiiing of th^"" old Repablioc^ia bet.veen 
nollification aiia txie older doctrine of state-ri^u-a uiovea 
taeiTi to retiiin bapreniacy in state politics ant il 1833. Jack- 
son was aiiiijrrnly supijortea throjf^h hib t ,/o adaiiuibtrat ions. 
The Presiuent'ti veto of tue Maysville Tarnpike appropriation 
ar-d his fie-jxit on trie Unitea States Bank v.-ere, to North Caro- 
lina Republicans, a falfillment of tne ir trast in hiui. These 
two x'actcrs caosed tne Assembly in 1851 to recouiiiend him to 
the people for re-election and again, in 1334, tu instruct 
tae State's Senators to vote for expoiiging from tiie records 
the resolations of censure of tne President by wiiich the Unit- 
ed States Sent.te niu expressea its disple^asare at hx^j reuioval 
of tiie governaient s deposits from the Unitea States b^nk. 

1. ResolJtions. Laws of N. C. ibol - 35, p. 139. 

2. Tiiree Soathern States passed instruct in^; resolutions - 

Alabama, Mississippi, ana Nort^i Carolina. For txie 
baiik controversy ana tne fijnt over "exi;'.iii^ing'' see 
Benton's Tnirt:" Ye..r Vie.v, I, 373, et seq. 


Oai of tiie action of tae le(;islaT,are iii instracLing Uie Sen- 
ators gre.v a oojitest whicxi super- impoBed upon tae ueciional 
differeiiaes of tue East anti tne iVest, drew tiie final line of 
deuiarcation between txie old Republicans and to.e yoiAnc Repub- 
licans, or Deuiocrats and Whigs. Willie P. Mangum and Bed- 
ford Brown were tne state's Senators. Majigujji, a latitudi- 
narian of tne Henry Clay type, refused to be instructed by the 
legislature aiid votea against tae expunging resolutions in 
each instance. Brown, a state-rigiit s nian of tJie Macon schoo^. 
was submissive to tae aianuate of ais state. About tne stan- 
dards of ^iie two senators t\/o factions arrayed themselves and 
Joined in a fierce contest for supremacy. Taouija the questicn 
of instruction n'/as tiie nominal ibsue, the differeiices of the 
factions v/ere much wid'^r. Under tii^ lead of Mangum were 
ranged all those vmo v/ere anti-Jackson, pro-bank, for internal 
improvement by tae federal governiiient , a:id \mo favored a re- 
form in the State constitution. Brov/n led taose who held to 
the opposite principles. In general MangUiii's supjiort was 
the V/est ;'s, the iiii.t. Buti: ^.^irties claimed Jefferson 

1. Benton, Tairty Year Vieiv, I, oZot 

2. Cf. Dodd, Life of Macon, 381. 


as their political leader. Botii profebbed state-rights' prinr 
ciples. Tne ifhif^ party, in tta enaeavor to eclipse its rival, 
now designated itself the "State Rights Whig party" during the 
first y'='i«.rb of its existence. Bat co-operation vi^ith the Na- 
tional iWliig party soon fostered the growth of a spirit of na- 
tionalism among tr.e Whig leaders wiiich .vas directly oppob^d to 
the particularistic principles of me State Democracy. 

Unaer tiie guidance of Mangcuii and Governor David 
Lo./rie Sv;ain, the I'/iiig party distanced its opponent and in 
183o *ras able to force constitutional reform upon the reluc- 
tant East. This victory v\fas followed by a Whig regime of 
fifteen years duration. Iii the meantime, as political pov/er 
was about to slip from the grasp of tne Democrats, the party 
of real particularism , it is pertinent to examine tne question 
of slavery, over which, in an effort co retain supremacy, tne 
danger cry was raised. 

The first attention to slavery in the public coun- 
cils of Nortn Garoliiia after lae subsidence of tne Missouri 
Compromise excitement was tnat giveii in a mabsage of Governor 
Gabriel Holmes to tne Assembly in 1624. The Governor called 

1. Since reform of tne State Const it Jt ion was tne lever by 

which the Whigs gained supremacy it will be treated in 
a separate chapter and ciS introauctory to t:ie Wiiig re- 

2. Executive Letter Book, Ms. Nov. li), lb24. 


attentioii lo the Icirge ncunber of free negroes who, beinc eman- 
ciiJated by tneir utasLerB, had eiriigrated to iiie island of Hayti 
and were now returning to tne United States - particularly to 
North Carolina. In vietf of ixie fact tiiat these rfere likely to 
have becoaie inoculatea wiiii ideas of freedom not meet for the 
slave he suggestea a lavr to proiiibit tne return of sach per- 
sons to tiie state. No action was taken, however, until 132o. 
In this year a lakV ,vas enacted to prohibit the entry of free 
negroes, by land or water, unaer a penalty of five hoiadred 
dollars fine. Failure to pay the fine subjected tne delin- 
quent to ten years servitude aiid removal from the bounds of 
the state within thirty days after its exjjiration or suffer a 
repetition of tne service penalty. As to tne free negroes 
already within the state the Act provided that any who were 
able to labor aiad yet spent tiieir time in idleness and dissi- 
pation, should be committed to jail and, upon failure to give 
good security for future industry and good behavior, should be 
bouiid to service by the Court of the County in which tne case 
fell. Children of such parents were also to be bound to ser- 
vice and taught a useful trade. Care was taken to provide 

1. Laws of North Carolina, 1826, lo. 


Care >'/cxS taken lo i^rovi^e a j ory triiil in all lue be cabea. 
In 1328 a law «vab enacted charging ine poll tax or c*i± Tree 
negroes to tne i.)»^rbon apon whose land they lived. The laws 
were primarily Tor tae parpose oi' protecting Jfiie slave Irom 
the infljence of the Ishiiiaelites of his race. 

Simoltaneously with the foonding of the Aiuerican 
Anti-Slavery Society and the first is&ae of Garrisor.'s Libera- 
tor in Bobton, MabBachuaetts, Nortn Carolina in counion with 
other Southern States, as if in answer to tiie threat implied 
by the New England moveiaent , began to tighteji tue cordon 
her slaves. Thas the years 1630 and 1351 v/ere years of anasa- 
al activity in alave legislation. Tiie mere titles of uie 
laws eiiacted will siiow txieir natjre o,nd object. Tne follow- 
ing illastrate tiieir spirit : To prevent all persons from 
teaching slaves to read aiiu write, tne ase of figures except- 
ed ; to provide farther p-jnis^iment for harboring and ixiaintain- 
ing runaway slaves ; to regulate emancipation of slaves ; 
to prohibit free persons of color from hawking ana peddling 
oatside tiie cojnty in which tliey resiae ; and a supplementary 
act for ti'ie goou governu»ent of free p>-"'rsonb of color.'' In tl:ie 

1. loia, 1826 - 29, p. 21 

2. La«s Oi' U, C. 1850 - 1851, pp. 11 - 13. Tiiese la*/s were 

all passed between November 1350 ana February 1851, 
six niontiis previous to tne Nat Tamer Rebellion. 

svu^aier which followea ihe passage oi" ijieae laws by North Garo- 
lina oocjrred the Nat Taruer Slave inb.i^Tect ion iu Southaaiptcn 
County, Virginia. Soatudmploii borderea u;e North Carolina 
line and tne A'ild peat extendea over oae border ainoji^ tiie 
dense slave popalation oi" tue contigaoas cooiities. Mari'rees- 
boro, Tne nearest North Carolina tov/n, received aany oi" the 
panic-stricken refagees iToru tne uistarbed area and quickly 

raised a troop of horse and dispatched it across the border 

to tne beat of tne trouble. ilTnen the extent of tne massacre 

becaiiip known wild alarm spread tiiroagiiout tiie slave area of 

NoT-tn Carolina. Rjinors oi' slave risings flew tnick and fast, 

froiit Murfrei-bboro on tiie north to ffilmington on the south ana 

as far as Hilisboro to tiie westward. Tae tOwn of Wildiiiagton 

remainea under arais many hours in anticipation of a.n attack 

by slave ins jrrec t ionists who were supposed to be gatnering 

like a black cloud in Duplin, Sampson, and New Hanover Go.ui- 


ties."^ Raleiy:h was reporteu to be tnreatened from tne souilx- 
ward and was put in a state of uefenee.'"' Hilisboro nustily 

1. Dret/ry, Tne Soutnampton Insurrection, 5b - 75. 

2. Wheeler. Historical Sketcnes, 11, ..10. Personal recoilec- 

5. 'JViluiington Recoraer, Nov. lu, Ibol. 
4. Raleigii Register, Sept. lo, and Sept. Li2, lool. 


organized a ooaipany oi' militia to be tent to tiie aefeiibe or 
lilt capitol. Many otner to«vut; organizea and drilled volaii- 
tepr coir.pauiea. Tiie patrol system sprang saudeuly into exist- 
enoe. The scare was geaaiue taroa.^;iioat tne v/hole slave area 
of tiie btate. Its iivimediate result v/as the trial and saift 

conviction of a nonibpr of slaves and free nerjroes on tiie 

1 . -, ■ ^ 

charge of coiispiracy. The excitea state of tue popular mind 

had its reflex in tne laws of tue sacceeding Assembly. Machii> 
ery v;as set ap for trie speedy trial of slaves in Capitol cases. 
Tne laiiV of 1741, tfhiv;n authorized Ooint courts to grant certif- 
icates to slaves permittir^ them to carry guns in certain ca- 
se§ was repealed."^ But for tne most part slaves received tne 
protection accorued private property ana t.;e o:ius of txie legis- 
lation growing oat of tne Southampton insurrection fell ujjon 

tne free negro. Tne Auc-embly seriously consiuered a bill 

\tfhich proposed to lay a tax of ten dollars on every negro poil 

in tnp state - slave or free - for tne purpose oi' removi:ig ali 

free negroes to Liberia. Tne uefeat of tne measure seems to 

i. Six ./•^'re living in New Hanover Co^mty, three in Duplin, 

and several in Sanrpson. Wilmington Recoraer, Dec. 1-3, 
1G31 ; and Raleigh Register, Oot. 20, 1831, iaiyx Ibid 
Sept. 2.2, lool. 

2. Laws of K. 0. 1331 - 5-i,. p. 2b. 

3. Ibid, 34. 

4. See Laws of N. >J. ia3l - 52, pp 7, 10, 24, for iieu strin- 

gent laws as to tiiis class of oitizejis. 

have been dje zo tiie object ioia of blaveiiolaers to tne paytupnt 
01' ine ten aollar tax on lueir biaveB ratner tiian zo a. couBid- 
eration or tiie exira-constitutionaiity or aach a measare. 

Trie whole sojtii had been keyed lo a hign tenbion by 
ihe ciroumbtanoe and horrible detail of i,ne sixty-five iruirdere 
couuuiiied by Nat ' b ba.nd. A labting iiiiprebbion was left uxjon 
tiie aiinds of all boutherners. Therefore tney were especially 
sensitive to abolition agitation at lae Nortn. Feeliiig ivas 
inti^nBified by tne literature now begining to be circolated 
in the Scjtn by Northern apostles of abolition. Tne question 
becaiiie of large Luportance in congrebs ar^d involved a determi- 
nation of whether ihe United States mails shoald receive for 
distribution tne clatb of matter whicn the Southern States 
viewed as incendiary. President Jackson recoiranended to Con- 
gress the pabsage of a la»if .vhicn woala prohibit tne distriba- 
tion of bacn matter. Opposition ueveloped among tne Northern 
reprebentat ives ana tnis controversy, togetiier v/itn tne wran- 
gle over tne "gag-rales" and aisposition of anti-slavery peti- 
tions had, by 1835, broaght the South to the rarjged edge of 
exasperat iop.. 

The Soutiiern Democrates, at lue suggestion of Cal- 
houn, soon came lo me view tnat it v/as within tne rigiit of a 
state to determine *\fnat cnaracter of literat ire snould circj 

late within its borders. Jackson's suggestion was not pressed 


though Nortii Carolina waa grateful to hiiu for the good in- 
tent. Tiie State no.v strengtiiCiied her ovfii lav/b regardiiig in- 
cendiary literature and pabbeu resolutions waicn ^vere her an- 
swer to agitators - m Congress o>" ►■^Ibe./nere. Tnese resola- 
tions were of a strong state-rignts tone and declared the coop 
petency of the state to legislate upon all qaestions calculat- 
ed to influence slavery within ner borders. She deprecated, 
therefore, talk of authority, advice, or persaasion froiu any 
source whatsoever and regarded tae offer of any of tnese as 
intrusive, whether by Congress, legislatures, uv people of 
other States. 

Tiif excessive sensitiveness exiiibited iix Uie se reso- 
lutions marked the seriojsness with wfhich the state regarded 
the rise of thp abolition moveiiient. Upon the question of op- 
position to sijjii a niovemeiit tiiere v/as no divergejice of opiniota 
in the state. Botii parties condecmed with eciJiil vehemence tiE 
purpose Northern moveinent for t:ie abolition of slavery i!i tiie 
District of Goluinbia, Bat the Democratic party of tne state 

made slavery protection its creed and thereafter the "sound- 
ness" of every presidential candidate upon ihe slavery ques- 
tion v/as tiie condition of its support. Tiie Whig party was 

1. Rale i'jn' Register, Nov. IV, IdSb. 

2. Laws of N, C. , iJiob , ions , p. 119, 


never lae party of Liie slaveholder in North Garoliua aiul it 
was aue to tiiis that the Deiuocrats aere able in looG to carry 
the State for Van Buren,l^ Jackson's chosen sacceasor, thoagh 
the Whigs electeu tue governor, it be i>ig the first popular 4i 
election for tiiat oiTioe ever held in tae State. 

1. Van Buren hau given assaranoes, on inquiry from North 

Caroliioa Democrate, that he oppot.ea any interfereiioe 
witii slavery in liie District of Col^mibia. 
See 50 Niles Register, 12G. 



WiilG SUPR®.1ACY: 1S35-1S50. 
Chapter III. 

When the i-evolted province of North Carolina frairied 
her constitution in 1776 the constitution makers, regarding 
the counties as equal in population, accorded to each the 
right to elect a senator and tv/o comirioners to the General 
Assembly. This arrangement was not equitable at that date. 
The swamp and irarsh region v/hich fringed the coast and shut 
in Albeiiiarle and Paiiilico sounds v/as divided into very large 
and thinly settled counties. To the westward the swannp re- 
gion gave place to a ilch alluvial district v/hich was free 
from the ills of the sv/amp area and, though extending be- 
yond the upper limits of tide-water, .as in easy communica- 
tion with the sea by means of the great rivers, the Roan- 
oke, the Tar, the Neuse and the Cape Fear. This area, con- 
taining the bulk of the poi^ulation of the state, was divid- 
ed into counties of norrrial and convenient size. These small 
but populous and wealthy counties made up an irregular 
double tier vmicn extended across the g tate from north to 
south aj.jpi'OxiiTiately parallel to the general coast line. 
Behind these, to the v/estv/ard, began the back-country, v/here 

(1) In addition, six towns, four in the East and two in 
the West, were each given the right to elect a borough mem- 
ber to the lower House. 


population again gi'ew upace usid the counties cox-i-esiionding- 
ly large. 

As these large baci: counties began to fill up they 
grew dissatisfied v/i tn the basis of representation. In- 
crease in population dia not bring an increase in I'epre- 
Eentatives as long as representation v/as based on counties. 
To split up the over large v/estern counties as their popu- 
lation increased was the natural course for the State gov- 
ernirient to pursue. But the central eastern counties, in 
contest by vir'tue of their nuinber, refused assent to any 
plan whereby their existing advantage v/ould be destroyed. 
Hence an Eastern and Western party came into being. An im- 
aginai'y line, definitely fixed in the minds of the people 

of both sections, ran across the state somewhat to the west 

of Raleigh dividing the East from the West as effectively 

as a natural barrier would have done. Dissimilar inter- 
ests, opposite purposes, and often hostile feelings animat- 

ed the two sections andux-ged them to a prolonged contest, 

A method of correcting the inequalities of repre- 
sentation other than by a division of counties was to re- 

(1) Cf. Speech of Wm, Gaston in N,C, Constitutional Con- 
vention of 1S35. Debates, 124, et,seq, 

(2) The differences between the East and *.he West after 
1789 v/ere in reality a continuation of the old pre-Revolu- 
tionary ill feeling that had culminated in the Regulators' 
War of 1769-71. The basis of representation adopted by the 
constitution iriakers in 1776 gave the controversy" a new"^ 
lease of life. 


fonii the State constitution in such a ..anner as to penrdt 
the state to be divided into districts according to popula- 
tion emd taxation and these districts made the basis of 

representation. The V/est urged such a t-efonri as earl;^ as, 


1790, and continued to press the movtjment from that date. 

At each successive annual assembly petitions were presented 

for a reform in the constitution or for a just division of 

the -.vestern counties. The East as constantly refused to 

make any concession. By 1818 the inequalities in represent- 
ation had grov/n to so ijreat that the demand of the West for 
reforni became a threatening danger. The use of force was 
freely discussed and revolution, though deprecated, as a 

last resource was not counted atriong the improbabilities of 

the strained situation. The V/est, containing twenty-eight 

counties, nov/ had a majority of the population of ihe State 

But the East, iriade up of thirty-four counties, had a final 

majority in the Genei-al Assembly. 

In ^he legislative terrri of 1819-1820 the Western 

members iriade a deterrtiined effort to induce the East to come 

to equitable terms. The derrand for a refonri in rrpresenta- 

(1) N.C. State Records, XXI., 1052. 

(2) Raleigh Register, Dec. 3, 1799. 

(3) Cf. "Senator of Lincoln County" in Raleigh Register, 
Jan. 8, 1819. 


tion v/as coupled v/ith deitiands foi- the poijular election of 

the iiovevnoc and for thegeneral i-efonn in the i-evenue and 

judicial systems. Debate ujjon the resolutions embodying 

the v/estern plan of reform occupied nearly the whole of the 

legislative terrri. The main position of the Eastern mem- 
bers, as developed in the debates, v/as, that a just and rc- 
publican principle did not require that members alone shoul 
govern; that one of the most important ends of governrrient 

v/as the protection of private property; that counting prop- 

erty in slaves, the East v/as decidedly the v/ealthier of 

the two sections and, therefore, thee xisting mode of x-ep- 
resentation operated justly. This arguinent seized to defer 
concession, the r- ef orm resolutions being defeated by a st 
strictly sectional vote. 

Despairing of legislative concession the Western 
mejTibers of the Assembly determined, in 1822, to appeal di- 
rectly to the people. Accordingly, after a caucus meeting 
they issued a call for a popular convention to meet in No- 
vember of the follov/ing year to consider the question of 
reform. Extra-legal in its orif^in, this convention ihet. at 

(1) N.C. Senate Journal, Dec. 2, 1819. 

(2) These debates are ;.ublished in Raleigh Register, be- 
ginning Dec. 10, 1819, and continuing for several luonths 
in its v/eekly issues. 

(3) Slavf'S v/ere not, aov/ever, at this time, or ever after- 
v/ard, tc.xed as property. A poll-tax of 50 cts, on all 
slaves betv/een the ages of 12 and 50 yeai*s v/as the greatest 


Raleigh upon the date designated, delegates from ^4 of the 

28 Western counties being present. No delegates appeared 

from the East. The ten aays* session of the West(-'rn con- 
vention accomplished but poorly the purposes for v/hich it 
met. The :uain pui'pose had been to impress the East v/ith 
the strength of the reform movement. But tiriis object v/as 
almost v/holly defeated by the development of a lack of har- 
mony cUTiong the delegates i^resent. 

A cQimiiittee of five, appointed to draft amendinents 
to be prepared by the convention to the people, found great 
difficulty in reflecting the v/ill of the delegates as to 
the kind of i-eforiri needed. The extreme western or moun- 
tainous counties, in v/hich there were practically no slaves,, 
v/ished free white rjopulation to forrri the basis of repre- 
sentation. The middle western counties, contiguous to the 
East and already large slave-holding counties, wished fed- 
eral nuiTibers to form the basis. The will of the latter 
pi-evailed in the coiTimittee and t he aniendrrient relative to 
representation proposed that 4000 of federal population sho 
should be the unit of repi-esentation in the coirarions and 

tax ever levied on this species of pi-operty in North Caro- 

(1) The proceedings of this interesting convention appear 
in Raleigh Register, Nov. 14, 1823, and Nov, 21, 1833, Also 
in Raleigh Star of aarrie dates. 


10,000 the unit for the senate. By this an-angement , 
should the state subsequently adopt the measure, the moun- 
tain counties v/ould gain nothing, the East would lose noth- 
ing, the counties of the middle West would become 
identical in intei-est with the East ana further refomri be 
put off indefinently. In the effort of the middle western 

counties to convince the East of their conservatism the 

aniendiTients pi-oposed failed to include the abolition of 

the rotten boroughs or the popular election of the gov- 
ernor nieasures foi- v.-hich the vi/hole West had foiTiierly made 
deniands . 

A second committee prepared statistical facts rel- 
ative to the counties iiepresented in the convention and 
those unrepresented and' rexjorted as follows: 

Eree population of entire State - 433.912 
" "of represented counties - 233.933 
" n H unrepresented " - 199.979 
Majority of represented counties - 33.954 

Federal members in whole State - 556.695 
" " in unrepresented counties 284.264 
" n .. represented " 272.431 
Difference in favor of unrepresented coun- 
ties - 11.833 
(1) Raleigh Register, Nov. 21, 1823, contains all the 


The coniniittee further repoi-ted that the arriount of taxes pai 

by the counties unrepx'esented in the convention was, ap- 

proxiiriately, ^^10,000 more than that paid by the counties 

represented. lience the Y/eat had failed to prove its case, 

unless it was ti-^'^^nted that free population should be the 
basis of representation - an assurription which the East had 
long since denied, having adopted the i-eports of the va- 
rious coniHiittees and recoiriiriending a constitutional conven- 
tion to the people the Western convention adjourned, evi- 
dences of thelack of harmony not being absent. 

The succeeding General Assembly promptly refused to 

call the convention recorrimended or in anv way to further 

the suggestions of Western Gonvention. This action by the 

Assembly v/as tantairiount to a declaration by the East that 
it v/ould not meet the overtures of the middle v/estern coun- 
ties nor concede them a snare in the control of the state. 
They v/ere forced, therefore, to remain united v/ith the 

mountain counties. The issue was accordingly kept alive, 

the fight irriiTiediately renev/ed and continued without in- 

aniendjnents recoirunended. After that relative to representa- 
tion, biennial instead of annual assemblies was perhaps the 
most important. 

(1) The popiilation statistics v/ere based on the U.S. census 
report of 1820 and the tax statistics on tlie State comptrol 
er's i-eport for the satrie year. 

(2) Journal of N.C. Gen, Asseiribly, 1S2;5, 123, 
{6) Carolina Watchrrian, June lb, 1S24. 

tenriission for another decade. 

Already the two sections had attached themselves to 
opposing leaders in national politics, in 1S24 the West 
supported Jackson for the presidency ajid the East suijported 
Crawford. In 1S2S when the East adojjted Jackson as its 
candidate the V/est grew luke-wann in his cause and by 1832, 
was definitely alligned with the new Vniig party under the 
leadership of Henry Clay. Under the banners of Whig and 
Democrat the fight between the sections over constitutional 
reform nov/ drew toward a conclusion favorable to the West. 

At the election of Assemblynrien in August, lcS33, the 
Western or Whig party opened polls in thirty- three counties 
for a record of the people's votes for or against a conven- 
tion. This polling was extra-legal and vra.s conducted only 
in the Westei-n counties and in several detached Eastern 
counties v;hict. had been converted to reforrri. But the I'e- 
sult was 30,000 votes for, and only 1000 ugainst, the con- 
vention. This demand for reforrri v/as too loud to be ignored. 
When the Assembl;/- met in November a joint corrimittee of the 
tv/o houses reported that, in its opinion, had polls been 
opened throughout the state and under the sanction of law 

a large rriajority of the people would have cast their votes 

for a convention. The cornmittee, therefore, recommended 

(1) N.C. Legislative Docuiiients, 1833, 94. 


constitutional arriendnient and suggested that either of tv/o 
methods might be employed,- (1) a convention of the people, 
(2) legislative cmiendrnent . But of these tv/o methods the 
coiTiiriittee, a majority of v/hich were Eastern members, rec- 
ommended legislative ainendnient, the results al'teiT/ard to be 

submitted to the people. The legislative method would 

place constitutional euriendrrient in the hands of the friends 
of the Constitution, i.e., the East, which had control of 
the legislature. The Western members, hov/ever, refused to 
hear anything of this plan and continued to demand a con- 
vention. In consequence there v/as a deadlock tuid the ses- 

sion closed witliout agreement. 

The Raleigh Register, favorably situated for ac&u- 

rate observation, suirirried up the evil state'* of North Caro- 
lina politics in the following mild tei-nris: "The members 

of the Noi'th Carolina Assembly are split into factions un- 
der the well-known standards of the 'East* and the 'West', 
the 'Roanoke' and the 'Cape Fear', and rven when a revenue 
bill is to be considered their votes depend very much upon 
the circuiTiStance from what quajcter of the State its mover 

(1) The Constitution of 177-3 provided no plan for its 
ainendrrient, hence the choice of methods. 

(2) Journal N.C, General Assembly, 1R.'^4, 244. Final pos- 
ponement v/as carried by only four votes in the coi;aiions. 
(6) Raleigh Register, June 11, 1<S33. 


coiiiPS. Unciccustoirieci to consider subjects ujjon theii* ineritn,, 
the crowd look only for their leaders. If the laover of a 
measure comes froiu tiie East the oi-position of the V/est is 
assured, and vice versa ". Such a condition of affairs had 
according- to tne Re^'^ister wrought distraction and confusion 
in every branch of the government and coinpletely clogged 
i-olitical energy/- and progi-ess. 

But a very remarkable was nov/ governor of North 
Carolina and detenriined upon reform, David Lowrie Sv/ain. 
iie v/as born in Buncombe County - the very heart of the rug- 
ged mountainous area of North Carolina. His father v/as a 

New Englander who had settled in Georgia and later removed 

to Western North Carolina. Without early education advan- 
tages other than the little mountain hanrdet of Asheville 
afforded, the younger Sv/ain v/as a practicing lawyer at 22 
years of age, a ineinber of the General Assembly from his 
24th to his 29th year - one year excepted - a judge of the 
Superior Courts at 30, governor at 31, and president of the 
State University at 35. Swain ov/ed his rapid advance in 
political preferment to nis intuitive understanding and ap- 
preciation of the qualities of his fello-Aniien and the confi- 
dence i/ith v/nich he inspired them. In every sense he was 

(1) Wheeler's Reminiscences, 57-58 for facts of ov/ain's 
early life. Also Wheeler's Historical Sketches, II. 53. 


a man of the peoplr, and tliough sprung from the V/est, h« 
v/as equally trusted by the East. Inclined toward Whig 
principles he v/as nevei-theless elected governor by the As- 
sembly in 1S32, l?/63, and 1S34, and held himself suffici- 
ciently neutral between the sections to bi'ing about the 
atteiiipt at ajsreement made in the legislature in 1833. The 
failure of this plan aroused nim to further effort and his 
message to the Assembly, November 17, 1834, began a nev; 
epoch in the _t..olitical life of tiie state. Rising above 
sectional and party strife he dealt with the subject of re- 
fonii as a means to reinvigorate every dep<artment of the 
State's activity. He reviewed the sectional controversy 
from its origin in colonial .times down to the present and 
pointed out the utter impossibility of wise or liberal leg- 
islation until such conditions were ended. 

Swain's position, together with the force dei-ived 
from Manguni's thorough organization of the Western or 

Whig party, now caused the East to give way and in January, 

1835, a convention bill v/as carried. The bill provided 

that a popular vote snould be taken on the question whether 

a majority of the voters should approve the convention then 

(1) This reform message of Gov. Swain is published in 47 
Miles' Register, 221, ana in all N.C. State papers of date 

(2) Public Acts of N.C, 1834,35, Chap. I., part 1. 


the Governor snould fix a day for the election of delegates 
and a day for the convention. The convention act defined 
the limits of the convention's ^.o\<ier in regard to repre- 
sentation. The bill pi'ovided tiiat the senate should be 
made to consist of not less tiian ^4 nor iriore than 50 ruein- 
bers, to be chosen by clisti-icts according to public taxes, 
and the couimons of not less thaii 90 nor more than 120 rnem- 
bers apportioned by districts according to federal popula- 
tion. Tnus, after all, the vital question of representa- 
tion was deteruiined by the East' and in such a nicinner that 
the privileges of the old slave area remained unaffected. 
Nothing would be lost by this section in the chajige from 
the county basis to federal poijulation basis - for it pos- 
sessed the bulk of the slaves. In fact there would be a 
gain in that the limits of the East would be extended 
further , westward and made to include all the slave counties 

of the state. 

Where, however, the poijular vote v/as talcen on the 

convention question in April every Western county save one 
gave majorities for the convention and every Eastern coun- 
ty gave majorities against it. But the total inajority for 

the convention was 5856 votes. The election of delegates 

(1) Official i-eturns, Vote by Counties, N.C. Standard, 
April 24, 1835. 


secured a fev/ votes later. The Convention aasenibled in 

Raleigh, July 4, and ferrained in session until July 11. 
The aged liathaniel .Macon carrie forth from his retirement 
to act as chairman and preside over the destinies of his 
ctate while the younger generation laid hands on its Con- 

The i-eforms made by the Convention of 1R35 ma.y be b.- 
briefly sunmnarized. The election of governor was given to 
the people and the terrri of office increased to two years. 
Assemblies should meet biennially instead of annually. 
Sheriffs v/ere henceforth to be elected by the people of the 
respective counties. Religious tests for officeholders and 
borough representatives v/ere abolished. "Free negroes v/ere 
disfranchised. The senate v/as therefore to consist of 50 
members and the corrunons of 120 chosen accoi-ding to the pro- 
visions of the enabling act ali*eady noted. 

The question of repi-esentation v/as nov/ settled appa- 
rently to the mutual satisfaction of the v/hole slave area. 
SpeaJcing broadly and disregarding the Q.uaker strongholds in 
Randolph, Chatharri and Guilford, the slave area nov; includ- 
ed the v/nole State east of the foot of the Blue Ridge moun- 

(1) Two delegates from each county composed the convention, 
being elected on the same basis as the members of the com- 
mons. This assured a majority in the Convention to the 



tains. If, after old scores v/ere forgotten, sectional 
strife snould be renewed the issue v/ould be between the 
strong slaveholding sections and the week mountain counties 
Yet, in 1855, it v/as confidently expected that mining and 

manuf actux-ing would cause the spread of slavery into the 

mo^-intains. But this prophecy v/as never fulfilled to any 

large extent, and tv/ent^/" years later the mountain counties, 
in political combination v/itii the marsh counties of the 
sound region, v/ere ineffectually demtaiding free v/hite man- 
hood suffrage as the basis of representation. 

Governor Spaight in November laid the arriended Con- 
stitution before the people. The counties on opposite 
sides of the old sectional line, totally'' unused to agree- 
ment on any question, voted according to habit, each West- 
ern county giving a majority for ratification and every 
Eastern county, save one, a luajority fox- x-ejection. The 
total luajority for ratification, however, was 5165, being 
practically the sairie by v/hich the convention had been call- 
ed. The nev/ or amended Constitution went into operation 
at the beginning of IS'66 and in August the first popular 

(1) Debates, N.C. Constitution of 1335, 139. 
(i) Eacn successive census ruarked a slight increase in the 
small number of slaves in the mountain region of North 
Carolina; but they were never sufficiently nuiTierous to in- 
fluence the political viev/s of the people. 


election for t;oyei'nor was held under its provisions. The 
result was a victory for the Wiiig or Western party. 

Thougn the Whig party now ass^jTied the responsibility 
which had rested in the hands of the old anti-federal or 
state rignts Republican party since 1793 it Jicid as yet de- 
veloped no principles antagonistic to state r-igiits doc- 
ti'ine. Indeed for the first fev/ years of its existence in 
North Carolina the Whig party was known by its adherents as 
the State Ri{;;hts Wliig jjarty. But the apijlication of a name 
did not enable it to usurp the place of the old Republican 
nov« the Democratic - party vmicii, in the minds of the jjeo- 
ple v/as alv;ays identified wi tii strict construction princi- 
ples. Moreover, the affiliation of the local v/itri the 
national Whig party soon made the profession of strict con- 
struction principles inconsistent for the North Carolina 
Whigs. The sectional i^arty, swayed by its stronger north- 
ern section, inore and more tended toward liberal construc- 
tion. To be strict constructionists in State and liberal 
constructionists in national politics placed the local 
Yrtiigs in an equivocal position of which the Democrats were 
not slow to take advantage. 

The Whigs retained their h; rri-nan nuprerriacy for fif- 
teen years, however. Their power to do so .vas derived from 
two main sources: first, tiie perfection in orf^anization 


attained in the strugiile for refonii; second, the adroitness 
with v/iiich the leaders reconciled the inconsistences of 
their local and their national politics. Both of these 
fuctors v/ei'e essential to supmer.iacy, for, the period of the 
Whig regime, 1835 to 1850, was the period in which the na- 
tional Wliig party developed strong tendencies to.vard old 
Federalist principles. It was the period of the fitruggle 
over the re-charter of the United States bank; the period 
in which Texas v/as annexed and the Mexican War begun and 
concluded - in the train of which cai.'ie tne i-enev/al of the 
controversy over slavery extension. Each of these issues 
included constitutional points upon which the national par- 
ties could and did disagree. But this privilege of disa- 
greement, at least in so far as slavery was included, was 
denied the local parties in North Carolina. The political 
edifice of the local Whigs, therefore, rested upon an inse- 
cure foundation from the date of its erection in 1835 until 
it toppled to its ruin in 1850 during the excitement at- 
tendant upon the second great slavery compromise. 

The locci.l Democrats knew v/ell the potency of the ar- 
gurrient against their opponents that danger to slave rv lurk- 
ed in the councils of the Northern Whigs, The North Car- 

olina Whig, therefore, from the date of their supremacy, 
(1) Standard, March 21, 1837, 


were forced to condemn with Democrutic veheinence the evident 
tendencies of their Northern pa i^tynien. The reception of the 
VeiTTiont resolutions in 1837, asserting the right and duty 

of the federiil governirient to abolish slavery in the Dis- 

trict of Colurribia, affox-ded such an instance. Both par- 
ties alike applauded Calhoun's speeches against the re- 
ception of petitions by Congress for abolition in the Eis- 

trict, and both as heartily condemned Adams for their ad- 

When the dei>iand for the annexation of Texas grew 
strong in all the South and Henry Clay, the great YHiig 
oracle, opposed it on the ground that acquisition of nev/ 
territory v/as but sowing the seeds of strife over slavery 
the North Carolina V/hig press, ignoring Clay's attitude, 
pointed out the peculiar importance of Texas to the slave- 
holding states and declared that v/itn the acquisition, ab- 
olition in the District, or elsewhere - migiit forever be 
set at defiance by the South, In fine: that "the annexa- 
tion of Texas is essential to the future safety and repose 

of the Southern States of this Confederacy", The Demo- 
crats themselves v/ere not inore ardent for Texas, The dif- 
ference in attitude of the tv/o local parties lay in the 

(1) Raleigh Register, May 9, IP.37, 

(2) Star, May 21, 1837. Raleigh Register, March 28, 1837. 

(3) Star, Aug, 23, 1837. 


fact that, for par*ty purposes, Soutliern Whigs felt it nec- 
essaiy to concede to their Northern allies that annexation 
ought not to be accomplished at the risk of war v/ith Mexicc 
The i-efusal of the United States Senate to ratify the an- 
nexation scheme of 1338 caused the question to lay f o r a 
time, giving place in popular interest to the presidential 
election of 1840. 

Despite his declared opposition to the annexation 

of Texas, Clay was decidedly the favorite of the North Car- 
olina Wliigs for the party nomination in 184D, When, how- 
ever. General Wm. H, I-Iarrison received the nomination in- 
stead, his candidacy soon av/akened unusual enthusiasm in 
North Carolina, as elsewhere. In the general tuiriult accom- 
panying this canipaign, unique in American politics, party 
principles were well-nigh forgotten. Van Buren, Democratic 
candidate for re-election, was held equally responsible 
with Jackson, his predecessor and patron, for the financial 
crisis of 1857, for per-version of the federal patronage, 

and for the general executive usurpations of the last two 

administrations. The national Whig platforrri, reform, was 

especially congenial to the local Whigs because their party 

had conie to pov/er on that issue in state politics. 

(1) Raleigh Register, Dec. 10, 1838 and July 6, 1839. 

(2) Cf. Schouler, Hist, of N.C.. IV., 341. 


The gubernatorial contest in August, 1840, was a de- 
cided Whig victory and foretold success in November, John 
Motley Morehead, with internal improvements as the issue, 
v/as elected over Romulus M. Saunders, the Democratic candi- 
fate, b:' a majority double that of the Whig success of 
1838. The vote plotted b^ counties showed that the Whig 
party was coiaing to enjoy the confidence of a nuiriber of 
Eastern counties. The old solidarity of the sections v/as 
beginning to be broken up b;-^ the alliance of the coast 
counties with the West. The Whigs began to feel finrily in- 
trenched. Their confidence seemed still further warranted 
v/hen the results of the presidential election in the state 
were known. Harrison's electors had been chosen by a ma- 
jority of 12,594, the total vote polled being the largest 

in the iiistory of the state. Harrison's overwhelcrdng vic- 
tory throughout the country seemed to the North Carolina 

YThigs a guarantee of stability and futui'-e harrrionv for the 


The task of conserving the power now held b;- the 

Whigs in the state was to tax the efforts of the able Whig 

leaders v/ho had created it. The foremost of these leaders 

(1) Raleigh Register, Sept. 8, 1840. 

(2) Official returns compared. Raleigh Register, Nov, 27, 

(3) Ibid., saine date. 


wei'e Willie Person Manguni, Williani Alexander GrahaiTi, George 
Edinund Badger, and Thomas Lanier Clingirian. They did not 
force the State into a position of national prominence, fo.- 
this was not the genius of hei' people, but they held her 
to the Whig allegiance during a decade in which the real 
interests of the South seemed to be repi^esented by the Dem- 
ocratic pai'ty. Their position was a difficult one. The 
probleifi before them v/as, on the one hand, to preserve the 
unity of the Northern and the Southern sections of the par- 
ty,' and on the other, as practical politicians, to inspire 
the local Whigs v/ith confidence in the nationaJ. Whig poli- 
cy. In the solution of this problem three of these lead- 
ers, Mangum, Graham, and Badger, together v/ith numbers of 
their followers, caught a spirit of nationalism which, in 
the succeeding decade, caine into violent conflict with the 
spirit of State individualism upon which the South relied 
when she felt her institutions threatened. 

Of the triumvirate composed of Manguin, Grahaiii, and 
Badger, the first two were in the United States Senate and 
Badger had recently been a^-pointed secretary of the navy by 
President Harrison. Mangnum had been the longest in public 
life and was regarded as the Nestor of the local party. As 
the leader of the Western party he forced his election to 
the United States Senate in 1831. With a v/atchf ul in- 


tei-est in State jjolitics Manguiri then arrayed, himself as an 
apparent to the ijersonal governraent of President Jackson ad 
and Sought to chrystallize what local sentiment existed 
against Benton's Expurging Resolutions and against the leg- 
islative x^ractice of instructing senators. In 1835, hov/- 
ever, he failed of re-election because he had refused to 
follow legislative instructions on "Expunging", and only 
entered the senate again when, in 1340, the Whigs had se- 
cure control of both branches of the North Carolina Assem- 
bly. Upon the death of Harrison and Tyler's elevation to 
the cnief magistracy Manguin v/as elected permanent president 

of the senate and served through the term of the adrrdnis- 

tration. Grahairi, like Manguiri, was from the West - both 

• ■ (2) 
being residents of the sarrie county. Both were slavehold- 
ers and in every sense identified with the slavery regime 
yet both were, u,nd reiriained, thoroughly opposed to the rad- 
ical tendencies of the South on the question of state- 

The North Carolina Whigs were in thorough s^iripathy 
with the purpose of the national party to re-cliarter the 
United States bank and i-estore the country to a aound and 
unifonn currency. The State had suffered its full share in 
the crippling of the local banks during the financial strin 

(1) Wheeler, II., 336. Historical Sketches. 
[:-i) Orange. 


gency of 1838 and the people for the most part attributed 

the I'esult to Jackson's destruction of the United States 

bank. Eigiit of the State's concressional delegation in 

1841 were bank men and five were anti-bank ment It is 

probable that these members represented the proportional 

strength of the two parties. When Clay's first bank bill 

was under discussion in June, Graham and Manguiri both stated 

in the Senate that the North Carolina TOiigs v/ere unanimous 

for the re-ciiarter of the bank, and that many of the other 

party were favorable provided it could be done without their 


When Tyler vetoed the first bank bill brought foi'-ward 
by Clay and a rujjture of the party was iirirrdnent , North Car- 
olina Wliigs continued to hope for some means to promote 

hamrtony. But when the second veto followed it v/as seen 

that Tyler must be throvm overboard, no sign of hesitancy 

was arjparent. Badger, with the full approval of the local 

party, together v/ith the remainder of the cabinet, Web- 
ster excepted, at once resigned. Mangum, from his position 
of influence in the Senate, directed the forrral caucus at 
Washington which resulted in the Whig "Manifesto" that read 

(1) Raleigh Register, April 13, 1841. 

(2) Congressional Globe, June 24, and June 25, 1841. 

(5) Raleigh Register, Aug. 20, 1841, and Star, Aug. 25, 18 
(4) Raleigh Register, Sept. 17, 1841. 



Tylt^r out of the party # 

The break v;ith Tyler did not affect the local sit- 
uation. The Whigs showed a unanimity quite equal to that 
claimed by Manguiri and Grahain in the Senate and v/ere in hear- 
ty support of Clay upon his issue with the adirdnistration. 
In the follov/ing year the Kentuckian's flag was nailed to 
the mastt But just before the national noirdnating conven- 
tion in 1844 Clay visited the State and made several speeches 

which, though received with enthusiasm bv his large audi- 

ences, nevertheless had a decided tendency to decrease the 

number of his follov/ers. In his speeches, and in a letter to 

the general public dated at Raleigh, he took the ground 

that Texas should not be irrirri.ed lately annexed. The leading 

Whig journals in the State, however, handled the subject 

v/ith care and caution, expressing the desire to see Texas 

added to the Union, though not at the e^qjense of the honor 

of the country, Wnpn Clay, was nominated it v/as inevitable 

that his position on the Texas question v/ould alienate the 
most considerable portion of his support in the South. In 
the suirdrxer the outcome in North Carolina seemed verj' doubt- 
ful. The gubernatorial election occurred in August, x'esult- 

(1) Benton, Thirty Year View, II,, 657, 

(2) Star, April 17, 1R44, 

(3) 6G Niles* Register, 439, and National Intelligencer, 
April 27, 1S44, 

(4) Raleigh Register, May 3, 1844, and Star, May 1, 1844, 


ing in a victory for Graham, though by a ruajority reduced 
to one-half that secur-ed by Governor Horehead in 1R42» 

In November it v<as found that the Whig max'gin v/as 
still further reduced. Clay carried the State by 3945 votes 
only, a majority equal aijproximately to one- third that given 

Harrison in 1840; and yet an even larger total vote had been 

cast in 1844 than in 1840. South of the Potomac only Ken- 
tucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina were nov/ in the Whig 
column. The other Southern States that had been Whig in 

1840 had, under the stress of the demand for Texas, trans- 


f erred their allegiance to the Deniocracy. The strong or- 
ganization of the Whigs in North Carolina ajnd the personal 
popularity of the candidate, notwithstanding his attitude 
toward Texas, saved the State to the Whigs at this time v/hen 
the opposing candidate , Polk, stood for the enlargement of 

the slaverv area. 


After the removal of the fear of losing Texas 

the North Carolina Whig leaders believed the opportunity had 
come for regt-ining their lost strength and for welding the 
whole Whig party into unity. To this end they finrily sup- 
ID "phe official returns, Raleigh Register, Nov. P,4 , 1R40 
and Ibid., Nov. 19, 1844. 

(2) Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi, had cast their 
electoral votes for Harrison in 1840. 

(3) President Tyler secured the annexation of Texas four 
days before he gave place to Polk, 


ported the policy of a protective tariff. By 1P.46 the State 
noiuinating convention v/as fully developed, thus making pos- 
sible a rriuch clearer insight into party principles. At thoe 
conventions each party spx-ead its platfonri before the people 
in sets of printed resolutions v/hich v/ithin themselves are 
instructive political docunients. Since the election of a 
Wliig governor in 1S36, and the beginning of the Whig regime, 

the tariff or protective policy had entered into all the po- 
litical contests of North Carolina. The Sariff act of 

1S42, and the protective policy generally, had been fully 
and freely discussed from the mountains to the sea. The 
The result had been that the party favoring a tariff v/hich 
would yield sufficient revenue, and at the same time so dis- 
criminate as effecting to protect the manufacturing and 
working intei-ests of the country, had in each instance since 
1S36 elected the governor. It had been alledged in 1840 
that if a V/hig president v/as elected the protective policy 
v/ould be fastenea ux^on the co.'.ntry; ^^-et the V/hig candidate 
received the vote of the State, The death of Harrison and 
the troubles which arose in the Whig ranks upon the acces- 
sion of Tyler produced apathy and despondency in the local 


(1) Cf. Speech of Alfred Dockery, of North Carolina, July 
28, 1846. Cong, Globe, 1 sess. 29th Cong, 1160, ' 


Wbig ii&rty as elsev/here. Hence, though the Whigs elected 

the govei-nor in 1S42, the Democrats gained a tenriporary ma- 

joi'ity in the legislature and in that year elected V/illiajri 

H, Haywood as United States Senator to succeed Williairi A. 

Graham, iiaywood entex'ed the Senate as a Democrat in full 

accord with his party. But in 1846, v/hen the Polk tariff 

act vms passed to reduce the V/hig tariff of 1842, Hayv/ood, 

believing that the Whig measure v/as best for the country, 

resigned his seat x-ather than vote fox- the reduction bill. 

Naturally Hay^^vood was repudiated by hisparty; but his ac- 
tion was indicative of the strength of protective sentiment 
in North Carolina. George E. Badger was foi-thv/ith elected 
by the Whig legislature to fill Hayward's place. Badger 
like his colleague Mangum, favored a tariff v/hich would 
niake the United States industrially independent. The State 
Whig convention of 1846 declared for a xiigher tariff on im- 
ports, "a tariff which furnishes incidental proAaction to 

coiriiTierce, agriculture and manufactures", rather than that 

the revenue siiould be increased by dii-ect taxation. " 

As an agricultural and slave state the position of 

North Carolina upon the tariff may very properly be tenried 

unv/ise; but an exannination of the facts make it inipossible 

(1) Congressional Globe, 1 SesB. 29th Cong., 1141. 

(2) Raleigh Register, May 1j, 1846. Proceedings of the 
Whig State Convention. 


to conclude that her attitude on the tariff 'i^iestion v;as 
altogether, or even in large part, the result of a desire 
to conciliate the Northern Whigs. Undoubtedly such a de- 
sire had weight. But there had also long existed in the 
State, especially in the V/est, a belief that the irroriense 

water power of the rivers, could ,and, one day v/ould, be 

utilized for the growth of large manufacturing interests. Y 

Yet it must not be supposed that the North Carolina Whigs 
were favorable to an outright protective tariff- one in 
which the revenue feature was lost sight of, ov made dis- 
tinctly secondary. Such a tariff v/as not a part of the 
national Whig policy during the fifteen years of Whig su- 
premacy in the Senate 

The attitude of the North Carolina Whigs on the sub- 
ject of the United States bank and on internal improvements 
has already been noted as in full accord with the national 
Whig policy. Hence only one great issue, that of slavery 
resti'iction, reiriained upon v/hich the State party could not 
act in harmony v/ith the national party and still retain su- 
premacy. This issue v/as now looming into the greatest prom 
inence, and, if the Southern Wl-iig leaders failed to impress 
upon the whole party the importance of conservatism then 
(1) Carolina Watchirian, May 17, 1S46. 


the whole Whig fabi'ic would be destx'oyed. 

Already there v/ere causes for distrust of the trend 
of national Whig policy. That a large addition of terri- 
tory on the southwest v/ould result from the v/ar with Mex- 
ico begun by the Democratic adndni strati on was a foregone 
conclusion. That the Northern Whigs purposed that the 
addition should not be an enlargement of the area of slaver 

ry was shown in the teiiris of the Wilmot Proviso introduced 

into Congress in 1845. 

YHien, in 1846, the Wilmot Proviso was attracting its 
first considerable attention, North Carolina v/asin the 
midst of an exciting gubernatorial election and gave little 
heed to external politics until it v/as over. Grahairi, the 
Whig candidate for re-election, had tactfully avoided na- 
tional issues in the cajripaign and had emphasized such State 

questions as education, better- highv/ays, and railroads. 

The "pi'oviso" received little attention from either party. 
Grahairi secured his election by a much larger majority than 
in 1844. 

(1) The object of the Proviso was to prohibit the intro- 
duction of slavery into any j^art of the territory to be 
acquired from Mexico. Northern Whigs, aided by Northern 
Anti-slavery Democrats, pushed the measure thx'ough the 
House in 1346, and in consequence the v/hole South v/as soon 
awakened to its danger. See Benton, Thirty Year View, II., 

(2) Raleigh Register, July 28, 1S4(3. 


Not until February, 1:^.47, did an expression coirie 

froiii a Whig source that irdght be taken as an authoritative 

expi'ession oi' the Whig party sentiment relative to the Wil- 

uiot proviso, no'w so persistently urgedt The Raleigh Re^- 

jester , the official mouthpiece of the party, nov/ spoke in 

no uncertain tone. oJef initel;/- setting forth the breech of 

synipathy between the Northern and Southern divisions of the 

party, it said: "The uncertainty v/ith v/hich the members 

of both parties from the non-slaveholding states have sup- 
ported tnis slavery restriction proviso convinces us that 
v/e have no right to expect justice at the hands of either. 
It behooves the v/nole South, then, to cast about, and de- 
cidedly and unflinciiingly resist any and every project v/hiJch 
must inevitably tend to advance the unholy and mischievous 
purposes of those who iiave openly and willingly violated 
the Missouri Compromise. * • • • • It is time for party 
distinctions to sleep,, and for the South to present a uni- 
ted front." The x-ank and file of North Carolina Whigs were 
already as ardent supporters of the war with Mexico aswere 
the democrats. But the Whig leaders v/ere more ndndful of 
the danger of wrecking tne v/hole party upon the roclc of the 

(1) Raleigh Rf^ister, Feb. 28, 1847. 

(^) Congressional Globe, March 26, 1847. 


proviso. Senator Badger's plan was one of preventives rath- 
er than cure. He opposed the whole plan of acquiring 
Southern territory by any method whatsoever. "Suppose", he 
said, "the territory now sought be acquired, how shall we 
dispose of it? ^^ow shall we escape the agitation of the 
slave question - an agitation which, come v/hen it vdll, 
must snake the Union to its centre, alienate one portion 
of our people from another, and either destx'oy our national 

existence or leave it without the supijort of mutual confi- 

dence or mutual kindness." Mr. Clingirian, in the House, 

Y/as endeavoring to induce the Northern Whigs to meet the 

Southern wing of the party on seme middle ground. In De- 

cember he made a notable speech to the House in which he 

attacked the abolitionists of the North and the disunion- 
ists of Lhe South with equal vehemence. He urged the North- 
ern V/higs to agree to a division of the prospective terri- 
tory by an extension of the Missouri Oompromise line v;est- 
ward to the sea. Any conclusion, hov/ever, seemed yet afar 

When Congress met in December, 1847 the Whigs had a 
majority in the House of Representatives. Accordingly, a 

(1) Congressional Globe, March 23, 1847. 

(2) Speeches and Writings of Thos. L. Clingirian, 196. 


i-esol'-ttion '.vas passed which declax-ed that the War v/ith Mex- 
ico was unconstitutionally and unnecessarily begun by Pres- 
ident Polk. Four North Carolina representatives, among 

whom v/as Clingman, voted for the resolution. Two others 

were absent who would have voted aff irinatively , the six 

making up the Whig delegation. Senators Badger and Manguni 
also favored such a declaration. Though technically this 
declaration may have expressed an historical fact, its sup- 
port by the North Carolinians v/as clearly a part of their 
policy of conciliation and ingratiation, used for the pur- 
pose of promoting party harmony. The State Whig convention 
of 1S4S registered this edict of the leaders and reinforced 
it by a declaration that the local party was entirely op- 
posed to forcibly wresting from Mexico any part of her ter- 


This spirit of self-righteousness luaiiifested by the 
North Carolina Whigs, though clearly meant for party pur- 
poses and as a means to an end in j-ractical politics, laid 
them open to an attack froni the Democrats on the score of 
recreancy to Southern interests and Southern riglits. The 
Democratic convention characterized the resolution as giv- 

(1) Standard. Jan. 12, 1848. 

(2) Raleigh Register, Teb. 25, 1848. 


ing aid and coiafoi't to the enemy. The i-esolution, yoked 
v/ith the Wilinot proviso, was almost more than the local 
Yfhigs could bear in the way of party adversity. Undoubted- 
ly they were in a pi-ecarious position. Totally opposed in 
principle to the sjjirit animating the great body of North- 
ern Whigs upon the subject of slavery extension, yet de- 
pendent upon harmony for its existence, the party found in- 
creasing difficulty in maintaining itself. But the power 
of its leaders and the excellence of its organization again 
elected a Whig governor in 1348; and these factors, I'ein- 
forced by the fear of the Democrats that Levi^is Cass, the 
Democratic nominee for pi'esident, v/as not sufficiently pro- 
slavery, placed the State again and for the third time suc- 
cessively in the Whig colurrin, giving its vote to the suc- 
cessful candidate. General Zachary Taylor. 

iv " udi.".iniici.ruuiaii , 

liarch 5, 1849, no conclusion ha'.i i)een reached hj congress 
as to slavery in the territories. Even "before the cig-n - 
ing of the T:e:.i';ui. Iieu.y 07 which in 1 -.^*- ^outh- 
v/estern territory wan added to the Union the people of 
the United States ha'1 "begun to grov/ excited over the .pro- 
table passage of the ^ilrnot Proviso, the object of •vhich 
v/as to exclude slavery irora the ces.;icn. The South be- 
gan to inaugurate measures to prevent such congressional 
action. The method most frequently employed was the 
passage of resolutions by state legislatures. These res- 
olutions usually instructed congressional delegations, 
besides serving as an authoritative expression of the v/ill 

Early in January, 1849, a set of resolutions en 

slavery extension were introduced by the Democrats in the 

poijular branch of the Eorth Carolina General Assenbly. The 

fourth resolution declared that the enactnent by conrress 

of any law which should iirectly or indirectly aevrive the 

citizens of any of the states of the right of emigrating 

with their slave ^ro-^ertT into an-'' of fio territories of 

the United States an.^ 01' e::ercising ov/ners.Mr over the 

same while in said territories -.voul I be the use of pov/er 

contrary to the true rcininr- nnd snirit of thr; eonstitu- 

tion. The Dej..ccrat;i continuea to urge suci^ resolutions 
during the session; but the '^Vhigs, with a majority in both 
branches of the Assembly, were ujiv/illing to deny the 

(1) Journal of the Korth Caroline House of Cor..;ons, Jan. 
15, 1849. 

corstitutionftlity of c -.sional prohibit-t on of slav- 
ery in the new territory. Senator Geor^jt; .:. Badger the 
most influential VThig- in North Carolina had recently given 

his O'union in the United States Senate that congress had 

full i-ov/er over slavery in the territories. Mr. Bad- 
ger's refutation as a constitutional lavv^'-er v/as national 
and in the state his opinion always had great v/eight. The 
TThig legislature was disposed to follow hirn in admitting 
that congress had such pov/er, Ijut deprecated its e::ercise 
as un',7ise and unjust. Resolution;:: embodying this view 
were passed on January 27 which closed '.vith an admonition 
to all public servants of the state to discotmt whatever 
might suggest suspicion that the Union could in any event 

he abandoned and to re"ceal every attemiot to alienate any 

portion of the country. 

The secession spirit v;as active, however, in all 
the South, while there seer;ed iraninent danger tnat sla- 
very v/oul(i be shut out of tne Ivlexicpn cession south of the 

old Missouri Compromise line oi ^6 and SO • Secession 

as a constitutional right was discussed in the halls of 

congress; and by every political sheet in tiie country. 

Southern and northern Thigs began to lose the pov/er of 

comrr.on action. Representative Foote, of Mississippi, 

democratic minority leader in congress, wrote Thomas L. 

Clingman and other 'Thig representatives of Eorth Carolina 

on ITovemeber, Ic'.j, asking what position as southern 

(1) Sioeech of Senator Badger { Raleigh Register, Hov. 14, 

(2) Resolutions, lav/s of :.'ort^- Dr^r -.lina , Sesnicn cf I'^.'L'^- 
1849, 237. 


V/liigs they should ^. . ...a in cnm V-n -rlr.m' In r" the 
ivilmot Proviso u-^or; 7;hio. ': the VVIiir iva^t,.7 nrul tho northerr. 
Democrats seonerl about to unite, shoiild , as was proh- 

able, come um in the conrressional session nhout to horin. 

IT. Ulingnan in repl;'' took the prouiKl that existing- con- 
promises oufht to be acnuiesced in; that the e'':clusion of 
slavery from all the new territory would be a _}olicy en- 
tirely revolutionary on the part of the general £;-overn- 
nent and ought to be resisted. He leaned toward secess - 
ion as the means of resirstance. 

lUr. Badg-er, on tlie contrary, replying to I'.x. '.7eb- 
ster in the senate, admitted that a state had no consti- 
tutional right to secede from the Union, but clair.ed that, 

in ooint of fact, the Union would be broken if the South 

was driven to extremity. The divergence of the viev/s 

of these two TThig leaders be^an ji division in the TTnig 

party in Horth Carolina both on the constitutionality of 

congressional exclusion of slavery from the territories 

and on secession. Badger's influence was preponderant, 

hov/ever, thoujfh Clingman's strategic position as repre- 
sentative of the mountain district, a Whig stronghold, 

soon proved disastrous to "iThig ascendancy in the state. 

Pending the settlement of the territori.Al ouestion 
by compromise measures, in 185C, ITorth Carolina, in com- 
mon with other sout^.ern states received the invitation 
of Mississippi to meet in a southern convention at Kash- 

(1) Thi.^ correspondence is published in the Standard, Hoy. 
28, ia4». (2) Peele. '.Y. j. . Lives of Distinguished Ucrth 

victory m gubernatorial election of 1^:50. The re- am- 
'^er still sup orted Senator jiadge's views. See list"aq 
compiled by Kaleigh Star. IIov. 21. 1 .4?, ^;nd standard 

^OV. 21, lj;4y. 

ville ror the pur; -jr:e of or inr t»n -jonth'r; r!cr,r:r.d 
that the r.iss0U''i Coi;i_. r>ji:.i.:e .Line be cxtcnuca to V:\c: .pa- 
cific. Thou£-h the convention v/aa held, Forth Cnrolinr. 
sent no fleief-ates anc tool-: no officl,-:! r.-tiRo c" itr. ex- 
istence, h'ven the state Deriocr;:c:/ c onjicierc:; trie pre- 
position Tirenature . Se-oarate state action 7;ar-' safest, 

^+r©. r.oct dignli'ied, and least menacing. A oouthern 

convention v/a.s to be a lorr.ier rec:?ort, Tor the Q:;ium 
which had atti.ched to tiie Hartford Convention was rei.iem- 

T]ie Coi.ii.r juise !;;ea.aurec oi' 1850 v/ere expect e;.- ^7 
the V/hig party to adjust the sectional differences over 
sla-very extension. This result, however, was not attain- 
ed. The 3:juthern Kights Association under the lead of 

Gillian L. Yancey of Alabama vehenently denounced the 
i-nea-curca , cn« the Deuocrj.tic jress was alnost unaminious 


in ita repudiation, A lar=;e portion of the northern peo- 
ple v/ere equally dissatisfied. The excitement attandant 
upon the ca tnrr. of rnna-way slaves einphasi::ed the 'hmnr'' 
differences bet..'ee;i the views of northern anl Soutucrn 
extremists. In .IT or th Carolina the iDerfiocratic party con- 
si-^i^'^^d thn f^rlnlrrj nr rr" nf:,lifornia as a free '-r.'-.r ^:r. 
be ;..ure ti;an t. coanterij .l.^noe for ' 

rived from the ctrinr-ent fur-itive slave law. : c, 

the shado-;7y rights grant?^^ lavery in t,i-.: 

ucrritory ^^outii of 5' oO' were deeined -unsatisfactoxy 

far from .er/ianent. 

11] Cf. Standard irovember 2^th, lo49. 
(2) Hodgson, Cradle of the Confedez-a 
(i>) Stan lard, Dec. 17, IbSO. 

uOi .ooxu'^^l^: rcov^i;;'.;.: r.y.- 

Thr;nn re ra -.jri'il uii increaHf; U: ''■ | _i>oliG I'Ui." vi^u our...OL,e of ilefendin^- ',ii>, ri^hta - 

state vvhen ::;:g contingency should, arise. The Badger 

ar..1 Clingman winfr. o " i:hn "Tiig party had not yet ceased 

io act top-ether, and, asaisted by a niunoer of conserva - 

tive Dej:iocrats, defeated the resolution hy a large vote. 

^'itii the end of the year, however, the long period of 
the Vj'hig control carae to an end, though the '<7hig princi- 
ple of conservatisn '.vaE not impediatel • ahandonod by the 
state. Causes aa influential as slavery extennion -.vere 
i.perative in the change ^'-^or. ? Tnig to a I5enoc ratio state 
administration, and these malre an e?:aririantion of the 
political conditions in the state here nece? :^tj. 

David oettle Keid -.vap elected governor of Eorth 
Carolina in August 1850, oeini; the- fir:-t De:.:ocratic 
governor ever elected by the people. The state had been 
under Whig rule since the election of governor .vas given 
to the people by the reformed constitution of 1835. This 
constitution nade federal population in tr.c ^cimties the 

basis for a distribution of 120 rr.eubers of the hou^'e of 

com. ons an.l for the election of governor. Taxes r/ere 

made the basis for the senate, and voters for the sena- 

torsjnust own fifty acres of land. The constitution ;vas 

(1) House Journal 185C-1-.51, 592. 

rel.IS^ions! ^"^ ^^'^ ^"""^^ '^^^ ®^*^°'' ^''^ ^^ against the 

ifUfrJ:^'''' ^° ^^^^ '^^*^' ^^^^' *^« general Assernbly had 
elected tne governors. 

(4) Constitution of E. C. l-:;]5. Sec. 5. 

■ • 'n*;r^rcct" of ^'lo 

slave iiolai::^' ca. -r.l.ivc !iol.;ir:£r v/es' , 

had bC' ,(l by a .jtrictly sectional vote. The 
settle;;e;:t c " *::e question oi* re^rosentation had not cafe- 
isfiea ujxe v/ost, but v/as ■cjie bei:o uotainable at ti;c wiiae 
Slave po^julation did not s^^read uniformly over the state. 
The west foirnd "no use for slaves in tin. wooded coves of 
the Mountains ''or on the thin Ian vs of tlie eastern slope 
The white population of the west was also much less sta- 
ble than that of the east. !Ien kept constantly push- 
ing along the niountain's fot to the nev/er and richer 
lands of the southwest, while many crossed the mountains 
--and set their faces toward tlie I'ississippi valley, and 

the far west. California and gold -raining had a far 
stronger influence in the -.vestern counties of the state 
thnr. ar^orir" ^'t: p1 '^.ve-holders o-^ t'^d ^'liddle "r. "■ nn.rtcm 
uouiities. Hence no slight politiaoi.1 o.d.v>^^tv-oO ^zcs'acZ 

to the east by the adi^ition of three fifths of its 
slaves to its more steady white population. oreover, 
the slaves were counte'l again as property in the a^ oint- 
ment of senators. 

In 1548, Reid succeeoded in inducing his party to 
-.ccept " free suffrage " as a olank in its platform, a 

proposition of which he .vas the author. The plan pro- 
posed to amend the state constitution "by an abrogation 
of the free-hold qualification of voters for senators, 
v-nd to ap-ortion the senator?: as were the membery of the 

^---■sL'.j.^'^tt^-fl.SI}.!'}^:''" '"'-- --^-i-- It liberalised 
(1) ?7heeler. .7. ^iqf-n-r,' -, , . 
olina 11. s;55. ' "^^'^^''^ical siretchea of Iforth Car- 

-iiiso only so armit non-xreoholdera 

.., 7ote in all elections. This ccncesoion gave f r r^ ■, 

uuular impulse among tlie landless clfiSS in l»ot;h Vuo 
east and tlie 7;est. 

'Vestern i-:en, h07/ever, vvJiO analy:;ed the proposition 
rea.lily saw that slight benefit was to be derived from 
its operation by tlieir section. What they //t- -ain 

in the .lestruction of the ■'■-^'onorty oiialificatirr. ■viv.l-". be 
lost when three fifths of tlie r.laves of the east -/ere 
counted in tlie apportionment. ?.eid was defeated in 1C45 
though his measure hriil rlRvr^l n---f- "i'^c.c'.tp.^- "trr:r!~-th, rnd 
was to be again brought fcrv/aru. in luDU. '2he .veDuern 
leaders, in orrler to ster, the- ^-^opular impulse to'.vard the 
Democratic plan of "free sxiffrage", no.v ~r n-,or,e;l •■. nif^.n 
far more radical in scope than anyt]iing contcriiplated by 
tjie Democrats. They offered to abrogate both the free- 
hold qualification and the fereral basis u;..- substitute 
free white manhood suffrage in all elections. 

The vvhite basis olan did not meet the aooroval of 

the THiigs in the mid'lle and eastern counties. Deriv- 
ing power from federal representation, they 7/ere loath to 
give it up. This left the mountain counties, only, in 
support of the white basis proposal. Reid was elecueu. 

in 185C over te divided otd osition and both branches of 

the General Assembly became Dem.ocratic at the "-:;.-- tire. 
The "free suffrage" amendment could not yet 
hov/ever, since a two third vot. quired l- Ciic coii- 

titution to '^hange ary of it? ." ?ho vote in' 

the senate vaa along sectional lines, be: for e.r.d 

17 r- ■■ ^-.(3) In the hov al- 

lien. _. Her in prop.^..... . .... ..... 

(1) ■ '• . Suffrage in IT. C. i::i. 

(2) -...^...^.. ..^^a...ter, A- t 14, ■" " 
(5) '3enate •''ournal, !• . -__,i, z: 

in . oUGd 


~i n; 

'-,^^r j?nnr'^'' 'tti.*^! ^■^T'-"' Viir'*'" 

-State v/Ui. revie'.. -ic tiriovui-coi; rccii^.iuuxu-ca ■.v:iich 

the TiQQt h --ed since 177G. By t]ic cenb-u:: of 104Q 

tjie "basis of the last apportionrient , it v/as sho^.vr. that 

17 '.vGstern senators re^.resented an actual wajority of the 

v/iiite iniiahitants of the state, w}iile the renaining 35 

represented t}ie minority east an.l its prooerty in slaves 

anl land. A convention was reoomrended to amend the 

constitnticn as iig^inst the Denocratic plan of amendnent 

by lerislative enactment. It v/as clear from ■^'ir- aadres§_, 

hov/ever, t}iat tlie majority dii not ■.7i.';h to destroy the 

federal "basis of rerresentaion in the lower house. The 

trans -mountain men T/ere unable t: zecurc •-'. recc; -^tion 

of the T.'hite basis and the situation re;.;ained unchang^ed. 

The Dem.ocrats successfully re-elected Heid on t'-.c "free 
suffrage" issue arain in 165C, though they were still 
ujiable to carry the measure through the Asser.bly by the 
requisite two thirds majority. By 1354 the white basis 

idea had lost some of its support, or r.-any of ii. or- 

ents had reco£;ni:.ed the im.practicability of securing 

their demands. The regular "/liig convention specif ical- 

(1) Thi3 addres.. is published in Raleigh Register, Jan. 
11, 1B51, an.I Feb. 1, n51. The line between east and 
west was naturally drawn arbitrarily, else the western 
division could not have contained a majori' the 

poptllation. See censu;-. report for H. C. i_- Also 

reduced census results of 1850 in VTheeler, Sketches, 


oirable. The v.'Gstern 'Tliif '-'-•'' i" ' ontir-c: con- 
vention in the mountains, anti threateneil to put out a 

/liite hasi:: canlidate. The noverncr.t oano to nnu2"ht, 

hov/ever, beyond fur''"-^ -o- '-oot-,-,^- '.■■ -ty. In !'ov- 

emehr the Deinooratr. ns their 

free rage'' hill. It \-mz rati cceed - 

rt -O^ 

ing: As.;er.hl7 a" -ro.-.--; -rr.," ^^^' ;-: ^5 conKtitution, fn-l aDprov- 

ed hy ■ le tlie foil owing year. 

Governor Reid carried his suffrage rneanure to a 
successful conclur.ion, but he v/aw less effective in caus- 
ing the state to asoune a radical attitude tov/ard the 
federal government. Eis first message after inaugura- 
tion in 1851 reconnendeil co-operation v/ith the other 

southern states in taking the ste'os necessarj'' to main - 

tain the compromises of the constitution. His words 

'./ere generally uiiucriitwv^^ to be a threat of secession. 

Both branche;: of the Assembly -.vere safely Democratic, 

yet a radical re;,;ort, which i''.eclared secession consti- 
tutional, failed of adoption and in its stead was substi- 

tilted another of a conciliatory tone. '.Vestern Demo- 
crats, generally, v/ith the V/higs, sup'.'orted the conserva- 

tive report. This result. "-vas due to tiie feeling of com- 
mon interests betv/een the small number of 'Vestern Demo- 
crats and the 'iTnig party, and is evidence tiiat "free 

(1) '.Thig Convention platform, Fayetteville Observer, Feb. 
ii4, lu54. {2 J This convention of seceders met at Hender- 
. onville, for account :^ee Fayetteville Observer, April 24,' 

1654. (3) lav/s of iJorth Carolina, 1855, 1C57, 12 "^ 13. 

(4) Reid Ms. letter Book, 14C '^es age to the Assembly. 
(5) Raleigh Register, Jan. I, 1851. 

(6) House anr. Senato Documents, 1B50-1351 # 245,261. 

(7) Ibid 24^. 

(8) Speech of U. V7. '«Voodfin of iJunc .il^-h ". 

suffrage" ratiier than tlae renev/ed nationixl nlavory ag- 
itation v/as rec onsible for the Demooratin victory in 

the last state elections. By tliin action of the 

Assernlily, the resistance doctrine advocated by the gov- 
ernor r'.ceivod a checlc, and public opinion v^as prevented 
fron f-rowinp- further excited over the possible wrongs in 
the Cojnpro. ._ rvr^^. 

The c.n . iiadger factions of the \Tni^ car- 
ty in i;orth Carolina locked to the National Wiir conven- 
tion oi' 1S52 to clor.e tJieir d'ifi'erenccs. The nonination 
of President Filiaore v/ould satisfy both, and v/as the only 
condition upon which Clingman and other radical southern 
Whigs v/ould renain in the party. Filiaore had satisfied 
the soutjiern .Vhigs by his attitude toward slavery and his 
faithful execution of the fugitive slave law, and in con- 
sequence had become distasteful to the northern e:ctren- 
^sts of his party. Therefore, when Filnore's claims 
were set aside and (ieneral jcott received the nomination 
instead, Clingman considered it a triumph of the 

oev/ard or anti-slavery faction and immediately severed 

his connection with the carty. The convention nominat- 
ed 'iTilliam A. Graham of lorth Carolir- "--^ '■•.le vice-pres- 
idency upon the ticket with General :;Gott, but this did 
not compensate the party in i:orth Carolina for the loss 
cf ::r. Clingman who now supported Franlclin Pierce, the 
Democratic candidate. Graham was secretary of the navy 
in Filmore's cabinet but gave close attention to Eorth 

(IJ y.eoresentative ulingi.ian had not yet definitely v/ith- 

dravm from tiie ViTnig ^arty. 

(2) Speeches .ritings of T. l. Clinghian, 3Cti-L_. 


Carolina .^"-clitic^. 

Thn -l-itrorn.s oi' both the 'Thi^ io state 

conventions,^: tiie oxtuivle oi' the nt-tioiuii parties 

affirmed the finality of the Compromise Ileasures of 1850, 

thus leaving nothinr np-^arently to choose "bet-.veon the 

parties on that score. In Congressional re reoentaticn 

ITorth Carolina v/aB vet 'Thig. Both senators were Whigs, 

and six of the nine congressional rlistricts had elected 

'.Yhiga in 1S51. These '.vere t?.e t'.vo extfenc eastern and 

the four western. The DeKocratf: held the three central 

strong slaveholding district;;. ThiJ^ vaF the usu-il al- 
lignment, and had practically been preserved rince 1S55 

Clingrnan's defection, however :lecicled the result of the 

election in ITorth Carolina. Five western counties -.vhich 

had hitherto been Whig, under Clingrnim's influence, nov; 

gave Der.iocratic majorities, makinp ur> the' total m-,]ority 

for Pierce electors C.cG votes. 

Disaffection in tlxe mountain district v/u.-. fatal 
to the state Whig organization. This district, more than 
any other, was free from the economic an:! social condi- 
tions which elsev/here produced a tendency toward partic- 
ulariism. It had long been looked upon as a stronghold 
of the '.Thig party. Conservatism v/as not abandoned in 
principle, yet it was eviaent that Clingman, for the time 

being, would control the district in the interest of the 

^Democratic party. Moreover, the national or^-ani::ation 

(1) Ger^rge S. ' r and Willie F^jjangi;^ 

^i? T.n"®^^^''^'^-"-'^^^^^^- '■^^- ^•- ^- C. by districts. 
U Election returns. Standard, ITov. 17, 1852. 
(4) Cf. Fayetteville Observer Nov. 24, ioSS. 

V.'; ikin^;- up. It oaulii not longer cxint compoBed 

or' ;:';cV ontr- as those r '.rj Sev/arfl 

the S->uth. The 'iThig; Hpirit oontinued to live in llorth 
Carolina anu to opcose particularistic doctrine until the 
end of the deca:e. ' 

The year 1G55 v/as devoid of political interest in 
ITorth Carolina. It vmc a period of quiet 'receding; the 
begin::ing of the final le£-islative struggle in national 
politics^ over slavery. The people vrere not conscious, 
hov/ever, that a nev/ agitation wan near and ^vere quite un- 
prepared for the developments of 1854. 

The Kansas, ITehrasTra bill, introduced in the 
United States Senate on Jan. 4, 1G54, "b:; Stephen •>■- 
Douglas, became a lar; by the signature of President 
Pierce, llay 2C, folowiiig. Its oroviiiions repealed u^.w 
'^isS^uri Compromise Act i.nC, subf^tituted the principle 
'■J- vuoular sovereignty to determine ■^" ■*:■. -■■ ; bl::.v.- 

ery in the territories. During the several kk. Lhc 
bill v/as pending in congress the soutiiern 'Tliig party v/as 

peculiarly situated. The ;:.ea...axG ueing Democratic , the 
TThigs at first seemed disposed to oppose it on party 

grounds as 7/ell as from a fear of renewed agitation 
should existing corapromiaes be distiirbed. jj^ Uorth Caro- 
lina_the_ first _im^.ulse v/as to distrust the ueasjire. (1) 

(1) ^aleigh Register, Feb. 1, 1254, said:" we confess 
that \ie ajubt the utility of disturbing the Missouri Com- 
promise, which -^ac acquiesced in by :the South as the con- 
dition of the admission of Missi ouri as a slave state- 

slavery restriction clause, the south has violr.ted d sol- 
-ct, and it -^Till icult to re argc 

'—'1'-: a" ^i^" ' '■■ " ( " ' . r.' :othr 

anti-sl'iver " ff-i 

iJou^-- r.;o!:ivc; . 'j?' hi:; . r:;on:il 

advanGc.ciit , ;*;; » «i*o icr' v/u.:-: '^.li^u i;;;o Juu.'v,ii, 

like ancient Troy, v/aa invited t a Grecian Ilorse. 

oer.ator T^adfcr, hcv;cver, ■•r.- an earno::!; i 

0^' wiic Dill. As pro thr.t it 

was a sincere effort to rer.ove tlio ouestlon from 

the hnlln of conc"re3r he ~co^:rr-' I- 

i.;enu v/jiich i3;;ccificall7 forua;.G the reviv-.l u_ .. vc._„' 

unuer the oil Frencli la?/ when the Ivissoiiri Comoroinise Act 

shoulrl be rej'Calcd. Only tv/o cf ':hc "^ig re^rrcscnta- 

tivcii _rom north Carolina refuisc^^ uo vote for ,j:- lUI 

upon its first ines.^age in t]ie hou!ie. The ??hig state 

convention had iuet in February and declared in favor of 

the 'jrinci^.le of non-intervention, hut did not S'oecifical- 

ly mention the Kansas- "ehn ska hill. Ey the middle of 

the 'jui-".:-':r the party v;as as enthuniastic in itc support 

CIO wci'c u^4.c ^ui.iucru,to , ,;lio frcL,; z^io, .iriit; had hailed it 

as a long-delayed but welcome agreement with tjie ]?orth as 

to a just settle:.:ent of the question of slaver;'-. 

The democrats in 1854 nomina-ced Thomas iiragg to 

make the race for governor with Alfred Dockery, the "iVhig 

candidate. The lately err.nter'. !:r.nnas-''''n'br;:,:~"'-i hi"'! Tive 

to the campaign the ch-.^r: oy^^v o, .. ccn£-ru-juia-:ory cclcora- 

tion. The conventic endorsed t):e meaqure and cxtenil 

ed thanks to Senator Douglas for it. inception and t; - 

(1) yuyetteviilo C" . . 

(2) CongreSiiicn:^! , ._ _^^, _,, . __..^., ...^ ^onator 
'Tillie P. r.angum's seat was vacant iince the beginning of 
the year ciil the H. C. Assembly had not yet elec is 

(3 J These v;ero Meacra. Sion ;.. Hodgers and R. G.Purycur. 
4^ Proceedings of the Tnig 3tate Convention. Haleiwi 
.vefeister Feb. 25, 1 54. ^ 

otlier J:icrnbei'ii o. con^ro.T:^ iror. non-::luveholvIinG stutos 

•v^-'- jrted it. Ill Gtronc' DeraocrixCii; -ors ti.c ro- 

•tiirneu . w.^i^ressuicn, b th "iTiigs ;w. . Jenocr ta, were ten- 

ders'l public dinners, ami an era of good feeling was in- 


augurated. Brag^ v/as elected governor. In the fall 

Ex-Governor pLeid displaced Ilr. Badger in t]ie aeiiate . 

With the exception of three congressional districts the 
Deinocrat.-> now had complete control In the state. 

The S'^iuth had hardly settled into a pleasant en- 
joTcient of the thought that tlie v/hole country had return- 
ed to a sense of justice on t}:e slavery question bofore 
it began to be understood that the intense hostility 
of northern TThigs to the act -.vhich repealed the r'.issouri 
Compromise much more nearly represented the sentiment o 
. the northern people than did the complaisant and accomno- 
duting a"ctix;uQe oi ilorthern Democrats. By July it i)6- 
gan to be bruited in ITorth Carolina that the indignation 
of the north '.vas something more than a mere ebullition of 
popular feeling. Fear was expressed that an issue had 

been drav/n, u ;on which there v/as great danger of ITorth- 

em party factions uniting. August Sii, t?ie Standard 

published the proceedings of the Anti-Kebraska Convention 

helii. at Saratoga, in which Horace Cireeley aeclared war on 

slavery, alleging tlxat the ;ioutn had broken its co:r.p;ict. 

Already emigrant aid societies, sup.:orted by popular sub- 
scription an„ backed by intense popular enthusiasm, were 
preparing in the IJorth to contest the soi'l of l-Cansas with 
the slave-holder. 

(1) Democratic Convention ProC' '' -. ^^ 

SS.„ IPP-:*. (2) Aca Eiggs, Democr. . . J 

scn^torshlp and retained it until 'lR58 when he e 
1854"*'^*^^^''^"^^ ^^ renl<Tifction. (s) Standard. July 6 \ 

secesr.ion. The wliole countr "■" ■•'••'•.in 

J i I w ,> 

in a £:lo'.7 of excitement over the rival eiTorl ^rth- 
ern and Southern factions for sxiprenacy in T!i..risas. 

The leaturoo oi" thi.s lonp' drawn out struggle are 
too faniliar to require a reviev/ in this oonnecticn. 
Its influence uoon conditions in llorth Carolina was not 
essentially different from that upon southern border 
states. The '.Vhigs were to .^ far Gor:uiitted .by their apj-ia 
val of the Kansas Act to claim exemption from 
esponsibility for it.; results. 'Botii parties felt that 
its miscarriage was to the breaking of a tacit agreement 
uy tjie northern people. The lofioal course for parties 
in the state would hfove been a coalescence under the in- 
fluences of t)ie Kansas contest. Thi. vaE the tendency ; 
but there v;ere fundamental differences in the basis upon 
vliich the politicalj^as well aa oiie eCunojtiic i... - ^-cial 
life of the people was organized. This prevented its 
actual accom;^jlishment. The Whigs necessarily remained 
an oij_;osition party because a very large number held 
iifferent viev/s froi.i the Democrats both upon the import- 
ance of slavery and upon the constitutionality of meth- 
ods of redress when the institution was attacked. 

^ ^^ 1^^ Presidential election of 1855 came in the midst 
01 the Kansas excitement. iTTorth Carolinians were not with- 
out grave fears as to t}ie probable results. In the Uorth 
the HepuDlican party had been orrt.niaed upon the ruins of 
the '.Thig party. James C. Fremont was the candidate, upo-n a 

( 1 ) ^^i^gSi^re^ . 20. 1854. 
(H) Fayetteville Observer Sept. 11, 1854. It had been ex- 

^■fcliat ■ '1 bee • st:'.te without oppo- 

n frc , , vav. ^.,. r-r-a..; o+;jut;e unijoies* 

ed by the South. 


platforw v.liiGJ'. in :._irit v;ao ininical to slavery evon 
.'/here jil renu" n:;:--: r-sti. . lor-.Torj^icr.;"!.? nl - 

strength. ' . ' ^ nonir. luchnnan "apon 

d. platfoi'rii wliioh eii.l O'lieu '; ""r.""- - 

ITebrMClra Act, ■" ' '" ' " 'iit}! jeciicO .u ^.err l.-i..;: u. 

in£' his election the condition ai.pon T/hich it v/oulri re- 
r:ain in t;:e Union. 

In Cctcber Thonas T.. Clingrian publiKh^" ■ - ■ '-iress 

to t]io people of ITorth Carolina in ?/hiGli ho outlined a 

-Ian for disimion in the event of the election of the 

tlack Hepuhlican candidate. This plan possessed no 

features distinguishable from forraer methods suggested, ' 

but it served to familiarize the Democrats v/ith the use 

of an effective campaign weapon. It is difficult to 

vieteri..iiie v/iicxt effect tixe election of Fremont in loLio 
-.voulc; have had upon the state or upon the South. Cer- 
tainly a few Democratic leaders, among ther.i Seniitor 
David L. Raid, W. '.V. Holuen, and Llr. Clingr.nan, .vere as 
earnest in their a<"vocacy of secession in the event of 
party defeat as ./ere ;i.'iy o J ti:e hotspur leaders of the 
cotton States. T'oreover t]ie opposition party eras in a 
peculiarly disorgnnised st-ite and v/ere not r ':r 

tlie issue. ^o) 

Th le shov/ed eviucnce^ o^ unusual e. :!rit, 

Cn Cctohc . Governo ir^ inia r Ox kjuut-- ■ j.ijiu ./ere ^ue^aLt; u. ^uvt^.i-ox -■xi'-Lo 

in_ Raleigh and 3ovej:rior_ Johnson of Georgia 
(iT'cii" ------- -,----:-- — = r --- 

1056 ^, . ^ .._,. 

ly ex;:Gcted. ^..c i.. iionsible ....;, of 

these neighLoring: governors v/fi.3 to attou state fair 
then about to beciri. . eoulsition was rife as to the 

sitruificar.ce nf t>.- rrntinf. A rur.ior vma aflo?'^ 
thut n dit;!jj\\«.'. ";ne Uaion v-i "e ni:- 
,.a]i.; J. plan of action agreed upon in adVanoe of the Nov- 
ember el. ction. ^To evidence is forth-^coning,', ho'.vever, 
that the meeting na.^ m political object. But ti.e event 

was unusiial, especially so in that the g-overnors tool: 

t'neir departure one day before the ooeninr of the ft;.ir. 

I.a::y viev.'ea the conclave i- ::ortent iriiiion. 

Thoug-h the whole o "ear of 1B56 was a period 

of excitemei^t in Korth Carolina , strong- undercurrent: 


of the state's conversatism '//;.' -'hited by ti: )le'8 


-ittitude tu.vard the Erooks-Suriner affair in the United 

States Senate. Irres ''ective of ^arty. Brooks' eeri- 


-is v/ay to hit homi3 in South Carolina, Representative 

Brooks spent a nigiit in Raleigh. A nu::iber cf citizens 

gathered at his hotel in tiie evening ana reciueboeu a 

speech. Eis rei.iarks seemed to have reduced the slight 

s,; ^ .,'• with V7}iich his fct' ?ia'l hitherto been hold. 

BvLOsi^ui^ii' ^ suoceti in w.-ft Li^tioe ui.u ni-Lional election 

iL^ " 'cone re" 

(1) Ri-leifoh Register, Oct. 15, lo56. The editor of the 
Register disregarding the role of host blaijed out fierce- 
ly ^t the su^..posed "sciiemes of treason and disunion? 
nd - .led that the people should know by whose invita- 
tion the governors ca/ne, v/hy they met just in time foi 
the returns from some of the northern elections, and why 

such an official atten^'t to hitch ITorth Carolina to"the 
car of disunion". 

(£) Fuyetteville Observer June c, 1856. 

(5) Cf. Riileirh Register, Sept. 3, 1856. 

politiciil turuoil of the your. The <;ri',: nrred, 
ho.vover, by the ii jort of the over.7;ioa.;.:ii.s victory oi Re- 
publican electors in twelve northern and nortluventern 

The American or jOiow-I^otiiing party served neunv/hile 
us ii pt-rbu^]ielter to the 'iVhies in the north v/ho refused 
to enter the Republican party and to thonc in the rnuth 
who rei'useu to become BeraoGr?H.ts. n'^ upon oppoai- 
tion to the influence of Catholics and foreign irnrni- 
grants in Ai'ierican 'politics, this ■•:'artT had, in the 
south, nc ^ r aison d' etre ■ 

European in .i£.ran;^s did not come in any large num- 
bers into the :-:lcivo -tn-^ci^. ITorth Ciirolina received 
practically none '--^ tjiiw ..ate. Yet '.at. Ainerioiu. •.-■-.rty 
found good political soil in the state, many c '.TJiigs 

entering it with the hope of prevserving a national en- 
ui uy . 

Chronicling the death of the state V/hig party and 

the birth of the Ai.ierican in the sa;;.e issr.e, the Deuocra* 

ic jres3 warned the i^eo .le to beware Zize ""Ci'^e ...ark lan- 
tern rnoveir.ent". Nevertheless, the party rapjdly .levelog 
ed strength. Early in 1855 district councils were held 
and candidates nominated for congress. In the succeeding 
election in August three congress en were elected by the 
.. '.ricans and 455-^ was polled of th^gl''^'^^^ vote in every 
trict carried by the Ler.ocrats. In 1856 John A. 

11) Stamard, Sept. 23, 1854. The terrn^dark lantern "was 
in reference to the secret feature of the ATierican party 

Organization and to the practice of ir.eetinp at night. 
(2) Official returns. Standard Aug. 22, 1 |. the ^1554 
apportionment the state's representation .;i .rj.-.'-' "rcr 
nine to eight. 



bernutor-iftl conti.:it. Gilner '.vns the Aincrioan '■ oxitii- 
tive of the 4th district, Lch, in larce p;trt le 
up of counties inhahiteJ by the Frien'ls, and knov/n in 
state politics as the "Quaker District". Like his peace- 
ful cor.stitii\entK; , Glilrner -/as thoroughly conservative, yet 
he wao an acti^'•c ..i-u uiitiTessive combatant of Der.oc ratio 

IJot^vithstanding fJilmer's active leadership, the en- 
thusiasm which greeted the party upon its entry into the 

state had no^v begun to disappear. The novelty of secret 
political organization soon wore off, and the people did 
not feel that the principles upon ',vhich the p:trty was foun4 

ed were vital. Kinshir) to ancient federalism wfis a stig- 

na difficult to rcrove. In the election Bragg carried 

the state by ■ ^^- .parity of 12594 votes. Th^' -c^^-.i ^ ••--,-. 

proof to the Ainericans that tneir part coula nevc 

mand the str^-^^-th of the old Whig organization. Consequent- 
ly disintegration began. The tendency was to return to 
original -^ -• ■-^ciples an .. to atteii:r-t to revivify tliat 
party .v- jty of the union as the party i,logan. 

The greatest practical hindrance to success in this under- 
ta'ring vat; ti^e total subuiergence of the '^Thig Organization 
in tl:e ITorth. 

The aa:;.e is. ..t.«iuf _.apers in Horth Carolina 
.Vi^ic: puhlidiied Pre.sideiit Buchanan's inaugural address in 
-.arch lbC7 , published also the decision of the United State 

(S) This district was traditionally conservative. The ■ 

CtUakers, while careful to not antagoniiie the laws 
which they lived, were anti-slavery in principle u. _ cz- 
ice. They ei.iancipated their own slaves at the earliest date 
practicable unaer the laws and colonised many of t}iei;i in 

iiayti-3ee '.7eeks, Stephen 3. Southern Quakers and Slavery. 

(1) Standard, April 28, 1555. 

^lonrt ir - Znse. inblic attention 

v/hici: -i*r- in lurt 1)001; -aS-ur a -i. * , 

•J.: ;A..-,orbcd to uu unuaujxl decree in the prcyidential con-^ 
test, v/aa riveted v^r^vn \t' thin fanouy aeciaion, men the 
atill unended strugjile in -hat territory, anu upon cjlavery 
in general. Ilorth Carolinianc expected the decioion to 
put an end to slavery agitation. They believed abo- 
litionism had been stunned, faction and treason in both 

sections of the Uni-on rebuke-.d, and the constitution re- 
(1) ^ 

stored. T. 7. Holden, speaking for the Democracy, said; 

"This uocision concedes to the Southern people all they 

have ever asked-the constitution. If they are true to 

themselves thay v;ill never take anything less". The fact -t 

that the I^^orth hailed the decision .vith 'i louo -nrotest, 

and in some quarters with ridicule, did not diminish 

thr; -oeople's faith in it-^ efficacy. 

^The result of the Lred 3cott .decision with v;hich we 
ci-o chiclly Goncornod, v/as itc effect upon the nationaal 
Deiuocratic party. Senator Douglas remained firm in his 
insistence ^at popular sovereignty shouli decide the issue 
in Kansas t "^ile President Buchanan claimed that the point 
■vab iLJ.aterial after the Supreme Court's dictuip. The 
disagreement forced Douglas to act with the Republicans 

(E) For this cace see Hov/ard, U. S. Supreme Court Reports, 
vol. XIX 293. The main questions involved v;ere: First 
7/hether a negro was a citizen and competent to sue in the 
Courts of the United States; second, v/liether the legal con- 
dition of a slave as property was affected by his sojourn 
in a free state; third, v/hether the I.isscuri Compromise Act 
prohibiting slavery in the territories north of 36°2iC' was 

constitutional. Each of thea» questions were answered in tb 

negative by the majority opinion of the court. 

(1) Cf. Standard, March 18, 1857. 

(2) Horace Greely, in the .^ew York Tribnr.e, asserted that 
the aecision .vas entitled tc just so much /^oral wei.-ht 

as would be the judgment of a majority of those collected 
a^cri^""!^"? ^^^-^°°"'- ^^^°*ed in Fayettcville Observer 

in onooaition to Buchannn's nlai) of aiir.iittiTir KanHao to 

Gtatehood under the lecorr-'tor. Con;^:titution. The l^orthem 

l)e].;ocrat;3 in :jii;.vor"u ui jj 'JU['-j.:lli -/crc Ljiii.: broken c.a^' i'rom 

the Southern section of the ^mrty which snpportert the -res 

ident . 

Thoug-h i;^r«iiC3^rolina in coj:! ■.m with thf. other south 

ern states uphela the president's policy, there v7ar; b 

strong dread on the part of the Democrats of giving- up 

J'.r. JJoug-las and the hope of co-oper:ition y/ith his follov/- 

erfi. The decision of the party seemed to make a Hep- 

utalicun victory cure in 186C. Even radical Democrats re- 

mei.ibered that ti:e South, even if iinited, v/as in minority 

in the Union and that protection could not be had v/ithout 

the ai : of northern statesmen and northern voters. 

Should the division continue throufi-h President Buchanan's 


term a crisis v/as expected to arrive with the next election 

Gubernatorial elections in !Torth Carolina occurred 
in the even years and congressional elections in the odd 
years. In 1657 tlie Democrats were successful in every 
congressional diGtricl save one- the Quaker district 
which re-elected John A. ( Still the best Idiown 
leaderc: in trie State, r'essrs. .Mangum, TJorehead, Badg-er 
and uraham, refuse >;nter the Deriocratio party which 
they had opposed so lonp upon fundamental differences of 
principle. Thomas L. Clingman, however, had been definite 
ly gained, and his power over the western counties v/hich 

(1) The Leccrr.i.ton Uonstituti '' Gon^jtitution of the 
pro-slavery j.ion in Kansas. ^..^^ _. -- .-/ery leaders refus- 
ed to sub; the slavery clause lo the voters, and tlius 
desi ' to defeat the principle of Senator Douglas' plir.. 

(2) .rd, .Julv ;jE, 1858. 

re-elected hii. to concreas, made : rehabilitation a 
slovr nrocecij. Yet ?or:3on.'il ttr.taponl. . 'T 

^j:'_ -c^.i, urb L'l' t.'.c j^.i.l'aj'iOUnt Dei:u'; jl;'-';^' , 

hone ■•■Jolitlcf! . T'-.o r.oxt Denoorct- 

ic 1jG^;-i.n ;l oGX'i . uo .Liviijiuj'i in the pi-'.rt/'s 

ranks . 

T'\i-- conver.txon, o^.aIoI 'io . .''.IT-'.te 

-'or ^uverj.ur, i.tu u, u Charlotte, April 14, lB5c. It r/as 

expected that the tr^nn ' " the convention from I\alei£:h, 

its usual seat, to a v/esstrn town, -"oulrl £:reatl7 stren£::th- 

en the Denocri:tic feelinr- of t"'^ ••'"-'■:'- •<-—+- -i-i--- -'03 ;,]__ 

ready fast gaining under the tuition of :.r. ClingTian, 

7. v.. Holden v/as chairnan of the Denocratic state executive 

conrittee, ana his intention to hecone a candidate for the 

nomination also ixad an influence in "calcing "che convention 

tc Charlotte. Holden' s supporters ?/ere mainly in the 

wesXT^. .1.1.^ the ne;? non-slaveholding Democrats. 

The -olatforia adopted by tlie convention was short 
and succinct. It cordially approved tlie Buchanan ad- 

rainistration ana endorsed the president's position in favor 
of the irru:.ediate admission of Kansas \mder the Lecompton 
Constitution, regarding the nea.sjire an essential to the 

quiet of the cotmtry. In the n r field of i^tate pol- 
itics t}ie conven ledged tl.e '"■artj'- to the com^'letion 
of t: •, v/orks of interrc>l inprove Ire^^T "hc'-'an, and 
the construction of ,.,... othert; -■ :■ r.ight be aco;.c.i expe- 

(1) Deniocr.'.tic 
Standard, April c^±, i..;;-i. 

diont. T:;i.- cojicec.;i:.ii :.: ,,■'■-.■, 

voters who r/ere clanorous for the corr.pletion ol" the West- 
ern IJorth C.'irolina Railroafl nor; -1 ^- 'r^^ thft 

inotuitains vi:j.ii:;b">:ry . The 

so much t:ie centre of genera/ " Ic 

ncr-.incc f' 

3aliKuu>v, • u, -.vere 

■^;:c c ■ -^r;: pin^tion. For reasons 

.', oe ex^:lu_: "'". Holue; '' ' *- riooptaole 

.te t'. eastern slaveholders, who exercised a 
orenonderatinr iniluence in t]ie party councils. They 
^referred Ellis, who, thou£;h a middle v/estern man, was 
allied hy "birth, sympathy, and interest with the aristo- 
cratic regin^.e of the Klavetiolding Democracy. 

An adroit move on the part of Ellis' follcvers , 
secured as a rule for voting in tlie cunvenoion, the major- 
ity of the Democratic streng-th of the counties, i. e. that 
the delegation frcri etic;. u.imijy ctibt as many vott;. 
their county had cast for the Democratic candidate in the 
gubernatorial election of 1655, an'"' thr.t r. mr^-roratr vote 
should i^u;.,inate. This rule niliui. - -'^■^-j -^ 

Holden's chances, since eastern counties '.vhich 

v/ere 6p^os6 \\vy hs'f'' "•iver ? uc^': hcvier Dcr-cnr"''" 
votes ti.< 1. jiu-u o.':i. ..'t;si,erij uuunliea ./::ic;; iju^' or-u-- .lim. 
Yet in the croliminary skirmishing the chances of the 
opponents seeeiiied equal until t;ie deflection of one ctror."- 
eastern delegate whose influence naa ueen pledgea tc Hol- 
der but who was afterv/ard won uver for Ellis ty the Bast- 
em men. 311i3 was n:;minated on the first t; 

Holt! en recc"' 'B 

The I'esiilt v/aa not i.nly a iliaa^noiiitn-.unl. to Hol<ien, v/lio, 
OTJ noGoiiTit o:,' the invuluuble nerviftea he had renden. 
_.viCj ii.-v. .. xj.^ht to exoect the noMination, but was alfjo 
the entering wedge of u cIhs.. distinotion which serious- 
ly hanpered the ^mrty at a later date. 

The personality of both Holden and Ellis requires 
attention in this connection, not only because of the sub- 
sequent influence of each upon the Democratic policy in 
ITorth Carolina, but becauso even at this date they rep- 
resented radically different elements '.vithin the party and 

tlie state. Ellis r/as decidedly aristocratic both by 

inheritance and training. a typica-1 English Soutiicrner 

of the slave4aolding 'class, lie had habits of authority 

<j.uCl cunu..ii,nd inuclibly staniptid upon iiis cutiracter. After 

haying receiver r--.-.'' .^ training, he entered Randolph- 

I.Iacon College in Virginia, ■./here he spent r.everal ye.-rs. 

Later on he tool: hi? oe at the University of Eorth Care 

".ina. He read lar/ " - two years, and carne to the "bar in 
1S42, at the age of -^2 years. After serving several terms 
in tne hou:;e of corfu.:ons, in 1848, he '.vas elected a judge of 
the Superior Court an-., served the bench v/ith ability until 

his nomination for governor in 1858. His relation to 

(1) i'or the conclusions dra7/n from th.; results of this- 
convention the author has relied upon the personal evi- 
dence of :.:r. John A. Hichols of Raleigh, -.vho was person- 
ally far.iiliar v/ith the c '.irr;s of nt .tr^ roiiticL- at the 

t iir.e . 

(2) The author is incGi.^ t. .rne.^ler, J. K. Reminiscen- 
ces, page 405 et seq. for fact, relating to the earlv 
life of Governor Ellis. 


I^ortji Carolina liist>jry rrom IBJ u nni;il hin doatii in 18G1 

sh07/s that Governor Ellif; ••'nn a nan of the r.triotest state 
rights viev/s, and that ho posnen"'^''' tlT- m^Tv-fp o^ his 
convictions. He recop-ni,iecl rmch earlier tiian aid the 
state at larfc that J'orth Carolina 'Rr^tined to act 

■.vit' >.or r-intrr nlavoh nl i"! -iriiP;- states, nn". he hent hi:^ en- 
ergies to'vvaru prcpc-rati on j'Tor the crisis. 

'JilliHiii 7,'. Kolden '.vas his opposite in origin, traia 
inc , riharaotr-r . 'Born in poverty ann obnn-.iritv , of 

the nost liui'iulc pct.renta£,e , in a r^laveholuin£ aicoriCo ..aere 
social and intellectural eminence V7as rarely attained bv 
those outside the pale of the politico-social aristocrrxy, 
Holden had "by indomitable v/ill and sheer energy, forced his 
way up to a position of peculiar power in the r;tate. As a 
boy Holden harl i-o r.:"'i:cational advantages beyonri such a. 
he obtained by a^._ rciticing hir.self tc the editor of a 

vThig newsoaoer in Hillsboro, the old state capital, in his 

ii^tive county, Orange. In 1848, a young nan, he cnr-n to 

Haleigh seehing enplcjnrient in a larger field. There he 
f0und an unexpected opportunity. The s'-te had been con- 
sistently TThig fc- cafle. '^he fortunes o"^ f^n TicriO- 
cratic party v/ere- at oUch a low ebb f- ' ' ' " ' ' or 
of the party organ, th. e Horth Carolin?). Stanuard. despEir- 
infi" of par'^" line...- ' i r^ tir^,p -r-" rla 1ve up thr "-a.- 
ter . Ihtt ;..unag.crv, oij-cx'e^ Zho euioor;jhip uo Holden, ./ho, 

though of »1iQiig training, was yoiing enough to ; 

ja:rty " ' ' '; . In point of fact, ■ prii. .j 

seer. ., ...v, n no great obstacle t^ v/hen ..__^..i;d 

(1) i'jii. nc :; tJie Hillsboro recorder, edited by 

Dennis iluru, a ^ .: unusual force c.nd originality. 

vi. * i * .J 

tuiiity. He acwwroeu tiie ofi'er h. 

trol . The opportunit-'- was a stimulus to his unbition, 

vith a hope of ultir.ate success, " • • ''hrew hinuelf in- 

to the task of reviving the state Deiiocrttcy. 

Tu Holden's efforto v/ere due in Inrrrn n<irt tlio pop- 

1648 an; D. L. jleid'c IfcoC. Thic v/as a t^;..i^: 

tho r.ore nonren:. rorjis^jAA- 

mnvol ." "•■•-': r ■'tI: ^■'^, dernocratization o '^ '''^p "^e" or'.r'^*:- 

io pj'i'ty, anw hei'iCe was in line ':±Vn his reeTin£-3 as 

one of the c ople. T.c: Itor and as a 

practical ^r,": i^ip.^/.r Hoir.en -::i^:i iny.--'.lufi i- "^ '-■' ... . rty in 
keeping' Dei.ocro, Lie principles doninaiit ix-jia loJC to 16G0. 
Though he defended ;:lavery ^itii great ability, Holden al- 
.var^ re;.ainei] .vithout the oersonal service of slaves,- re- 
maine^ijL-^epresentative of the artisan clasjes, whose con- 
fidence he fully possessed. He never inspired, hov/ever, 

the full confidence of the slavetiolding aristocracy. Tc 1 

this, it was generally understood, was due his defeat 

for the nonination ot Charlotte. His nomination in the 

convention v/ould ^^i.^abtedly have strengthened the party 

ng the non-slaveholding: classes, hut on the contrary, 

the denial of his claims alienated them. ATntpp-onisms -rere 

veiled, hov/ever, and the "break 7?ar. not 

lii the car ■ ' ' - '"''lis h- " -■'••■ ^■'•^'on. 

The Americans did :' ca; . . e, 

a former Democrat c im in " . " c . c ' 

(1) See Boyd, ■'. .■ . ' rep ^^^ life of "7. ',7. Holc^en, 

(2) Basse tt Z. 3. lina puhlishc 
the Amer. Hi '".•". 

(5) Haleii 

iecl.^i*^^ t'oft 

J. ■- — V-' A v- 1 .(.- 

e Cr^ -^ '• '1 " '-he 


/^^ ' (1) 

.liich were in -. resr;in£;- donclition. Ellis' 

victory .^..^ ..>....ured; but '.'oRae received an unexpectedly 
large vote, being laainly bui orted by the disorganised 

icans. The suddenly developed strength of the independ- 
ent ticket '.varned the Democratic leaders that the tendency 
of the people .va:: tcward local rather than national issues, 
and that their parties stood upon a precarious footing 
';7hen an independent candidate coulr] comr-,and such a vote. 
The victory of Ste-ohen A. Douglr vr Alnraharn 
Lincoln in their notable campaign for tl:e Iij,--r-r-i-s Senator- 
ship in 1858 was an c:-:ception to '■"•^r- -'.Inost unbroken series 
of Republican victories at the nortli in the fal3 elections. 
Republican successes served ae o^. ortunities for the South- 
err. Tjemocracy to appeal to the Southern oppositionists for 
^ a united stand against their coi.rir'On enemy. This f^ppeal 
■.vas effectual in a n'lirr.ber of lov/er southern states at this 
date, resulting in a practical consolidation of parties. 
In ITorth Carolina, hov/ever, the opposition felt that the 

Detiocracy had had its opportunity to coimoose the country and 

i^ad failed. Democratic victory m the nuzx^nHl anu state 

elections in 1860 promised to be at i greater cost in the 

state than in 1855. 'Thether it could be purchased at all ' 

seemed to hang on circumstances not yet develored. 

(1) ::cRae's addreso to the pec_le of'lTorth'carolina' 
-valeifh Register, r.ay IS, 1858. 

(2) £1113 received 52,0CG votes: ':cRae 40.C'^0. 
(oj Raleigh Register ITov. Ic , 185C. 

The 7/]iirs v/ere about to reorpar.iiie; an;' fioldon's fcllov/crs 

v/ere not yet ;i -ea;-;Gcl. 

Alt-iiO^tjn Governor .'i^lii:: loiiiu. it neoeu;-;ur7, in 
his inaugural address, January 1, 1;j59, to urje pacific 
language in his rl-!r;ouE:]ion of the thr:." toned .lirrii^ticn 
of the union, yet hi;; attitu.o cnov/cu ..i;; inflexible l:c ter- 
mination to preserve intact the cnnstitutional riphts of 
the state 'as the- v.'cre interprets' by the •" ^rreSF?ive south- 
■ XT. „e:..oc.r:-cy. iie said: " Te ■^:^ "'' "■ ■"" ''''■:o ac- 
laiov/ledgnent that we cannot enjoy all our constitutional 
rif^hts in the Union. Shoul 1 that day nnfortunatel;* ecne, 

but little doubt need be entertainer our people will 
^ct as best comports with their interests and honor and with 

the sacred ir.einories of the 'iist, to whatever the result 

rnay lead" Prevailing public sentiment v/oul'l not have 

w-.^c;tioned :. ^trjr.^;,er expression than this on the relation 

of the st-te to the Union. It was understood that unless 

seme means -.Yere found to heal the strife among- the Dei;;ocrat- 

ic leaders, there would be crave danf-'er of party defeat in 

the ap roachine congressional election. The lissensiona, 

begun by Holden's defeat at Charlotte, had been increased 

by the second defeat of the editor for the United States 

senatorship. The Genera?. As.sej.-il.;. „ , . ,, v. .. , ,.. .:. .,. Cline- 
r.Tfi.n for the short teriK, over Hold en, v/liile the long- terpi 

■ Yen tc Ex-Governor Bragg wlio huC foregoi 
',(._. .. governor. Thib tceatment of Holden, ■_■ 
./ore supported by the really democratic portion of the 
party(2), very neaxly produced an open brtjal: in tlie runlrs. 

(1) J '- , Ri.1. , r, J:-r . 12. . 

(2) c . i , 

, aej-ivcro . ■ . *J '; . . .- J C';-:croj 

it7, Irfi-.v iiol ■ •io:ir---tic 1 

o.-" tlic rul'irr ■'r-c-ijio} '-}'!r,- ;'l? 

V: \ t been patched up, and Holcien continued in active Bup- 
ort of the Deinocracy. All visible Bigno of ^'Actional 

strife LlitjaQ.eareu ^\jr u..'„ time. Tlie theijiu u_ the Pres- 

ident in his ad.'.ress wa;3 The Constitutional Union, a sub- 
ject grateful to the ears of the State Democracy provided 

the Constitution received the More specific emphasis. 
Buchanan d0alt-.7'ith the subject diplomatically, and his sen- 
timents ■•vere heartily received by the larrc cror/ds in attefl 
ance, and re-echoed by the press throughout the state, 
numerous letters endorsing his views appeared in many of the 
state "oa.ers. The chie ^ ir.'^crtnrce of the i-rosidentir-l 
■jisit, however, v.'as the aGco:;^.li:;h:':ier.t oi' the result lur 
t7hich it r/as evidently designed by the Democratic board, 
i. e. the closing, at least terrr.-orarily, the factional ficht 
in the State Democracy. 

The bickerings oi the Democrats among themselves 
were hushed none too soon for party safety. 2arly in the 
ye-r t::e mov.'-i. otning mei.ibero of the Genei-al ASiJorjibly met 
in a caucus; agreed to abandon Know-Kotliingism; substituted 


*>7hig as the party name; an-: determine^: upon a united "Ight 

-gainst the Democrats in both state and national elections 
A^__5:§§Qi ?^§-first_attontios_of_th§__rgJia^ilitaige_part7 

(1) President Buchanan's Address is published in the Standard 
Jan. 15, 1'359. 

(2) lii 07/ Nothing caucus proceedings. Standard, August 24, 
loo9 • 

•.vuc ciVGii tc i":-c GLncrensioni:! electiorir; in August. "'"^c 

result was an equal ciivision of the eight conFreasionul 

districts between the t'^o parties, i^'enldes electinr four 

representatives, the ner; V/hir 'oart^ 'jv..;. :i "^ 'to in the 

four Deriocratic Districts. 

The con.lition essentio.l to th^ "-roTrth of this ner/ 

yTnlQ- purty, v/ith principles of the olil ui;u in "-r'- Carolina, 

was the absence of slavery agitation in n^-tior M'-ics. 

ITo rival party could, hope for succe^:s while it vnir. necessary 

\J KJ \.i.'. 

x'end the orincioles of its Democratic ooonont 

Hence, John Bro-.-m's fj^natical attempt at Harper's Ferry, in 

Octoher, to raise t]it : it-ve,"-; iji : ution, suotiejO'"' arrest 

6(1 i:]ie ptrty's clevclovi ti t . 

Brown's capture anil .sv/ift execution l>ruu^ht out 

many expressions of sympathy in the north, eHieciirll: ir al - 

olitioL cei-tiet. Ihe Scuu^. iec;t,:..vcu ...u.g.^ t:;-_;_iCL;^ of 

s^'i'ij^'ftliy fiS r-C'3t}ieri er cIcr-seLiei't of tjie e.ttei pt to suhveit 

her ins titxit ions. The S!ioul:lerin£- evihers of section- ."^ 

hi 'Juorne :.-; were again hlo\7n into a viyicL flane. AH Wiou^}i 

in Torth Cf'i<'jir>< Whigs were calmer in their criticism 

of the incident than were the Democrats, yet f'-.e "Thir -nr.rty 

organ declared that '" outh would now never subr;.it to the 

election of Seward cr fmy sect-lcral Republican. This was 

radical ground for the Wliigs , and nore radical than ei'ents 
proved the party willi?^- ' - hold. Yet, it if- -^^ ' -"i ^edly 
true t]iat such a feeli ■"larger to slavery 3t 

universal in the Sout}: , caused olute dread c. 

Republican Presiiient. 

(1) Election returns. Official, Sta^ , August 24, 1 .. 

(H) Raleigh Register, ITov. 19, 1859. 


years, no official expresfiion of ITort) in'a ' icr.t 

r..^ to tlio Harder' G Perry incideJit coulcl be had e:. 

throu^-h -Che coverr.or i.r. : hi.: i;.j .j^uil . Governor Ellis, there 

for^ called toeethor hi r;il on the Vth of Decenher and 

passed a series of resolutions in rt of Governor 'Jise 

of Virginia in his efforts to',7ard Quiclr nistice -'^^■■^ ^.^r.c 

offenders. The resolutions declared: " If v/e canr.ot hold 

our slovf. _ , nd at the sane time en.lo;/ repose and 

tranquillity in the Union, v/e will he constrained in Justice 

to ourselves and our ;:osterity to estahlish nev/ forras. 

The council advised the governor to encourage t : -- 
tion of voliuiteer ^j .: .^^ ctncL to a^^.ly to the President 
for arms. The governor had already adopted this as his pol- 
icy, "cur months before he had a^;;:lied to Secretary of TZar, 
Lloyd, to replenish tiie arsenal at Fayetteville with modern 

arms and the request had been comlied with a ferr months 

later. Even from conservative ruarters came the recom- 

i..en-.ution to prepai e for vvar; to build pov/der factories and 

foundry for cannon; to renovate the military system of the 

state by requiring each coiznty to have at le9"^t one well 

equi.-ed volunteer i^ '.ji . 'i-nj 'jhici; .^^luul-; n.j :::iiL. '^ <....', ■ r' dril- 

led often en efficie. - . Thic f 

ty for -- - -^ •-- "• esire fwx 

<iread c tilities l" 


■""■jm a 


(l) Resolutionn of thr Ccvr"-""' r-" l-f- 
<- -^ - — - - 


tations :naGter;5 usutilly knev/ eaoh slave peraonnlly, 

tlic c,v7r': Is ir. -rinorr!. Re- 

li^i-u '^ -■' r- 

tain clificii-linnry , -"^ 

f:.: t rti^r. p. • r,p'~"roef' n ': nifht •va'; lib- 

eral ^ . --. -^ - ^'-^v, 

n mid ": to iirre punsters 

t'j curtail the large liljerty enjoyed 1>:/ their Pljives. 

.-. second caxxse for thir new agitation .. ^'"^ ■' "T'rr 

Impending Crici- . ' , i»i-'V/ .. 

jr."'; hv Hintru ^ — Tflper, c native of Rowan Ccxmtv, 


Ct.rGlina. 2:ii ;• uj j.\. .;;io i.1. one 1 i.^^ii . :'^- '■' 

:■ " statistics intended to prouve t]irj.t sl:-very 
oriic i^tiirse to tiie South. In f.dditio.v , it C'.: ^t-liie'' 
tii..c.^.v;^ i^ouallv expected only frcn t.holitici oentrfcE tit the 
Ucrth. At a non-slaveholder and hater of the rlfve lahcr 
'.Tten, the tiitJicr iiijeoted re little c1j::.b£, vero nrtn his 

Helper's book attrect jenti'. 

til leS'., T/lien Ecrace Gre( ' 

"i-e, . j.,t;vci..Ci.t to procure it.s biofa.d cii citation in Loth 
the free and slave . 

- ' ' ~' -I-' ■■ of Congress 


'■ ^' 'V' •" • - ' ^- „ in i:. c 

(2) Standard Deo. 7. lOi?. Raleigh Register. Nov. 3C. 1659. 


' -,.1 

proi^GCU'viu. its '._.-ur ;. secure'":. 'inc c...;.:.cii of 

stiitc advioGu t]io rnor to requi' ^o 

tLi i.uljject canvuGocrr; 'Lnrn ' rlotect i-";.7. 

ThGGC oiuen jjroveu . .^iti'iiriiju ors u:. ii oeriituro i:i^::x^' 

objectionable to slaveowners. 

',/hen conrrco;: r-ict i;i ~ece:..|ber l;oth tjxe John Brov/n 
ra.i>". ;iel_jer's boo.; of gres-t ii i^j.^rtance in national 

olitics, the forner in the senate, the latter in the house. 
The r^enate controversy had no nore bearing on oonrlitions: in 
i^or^ji Carolina than upon tlie south in general, .mj. . ■:h&refore 

has no s^jecial interest in thir.- connection. But the con- 
test for the s;v>eakership in V^.e Koupe of Representatives, in 
.vhiei: the Helper book deter; .xj.i.i' i ■ , .:„'.,■.,- i-^n.. 

bound up '.vith the state of parties in Horth Carolin' ell 

ES in ^'.:e Union. The Re;-nbllr??r;B hv- jorit-r w^-r tiie 

^e...j>ji-.- ^o alone, but t;:u -1. .'^i iu". I.J or original '" , 

r.ui..ber, held tlie balance of power between the . . r- 

"^ ■'■ ' ' tc be the cnl.y non-sectional "i 

first ineffectual ballot, a , ". 

- resolution v/hich declared thot no merrber v/hc had endorsed 
"Tae Iia; ending Crisis" wat fit to b eaker.d) This was 

^ir.ed at -John Sher.'r.en of Chio, the 1 _^ lican candidate ".viio 
:!ac_ . ong the endorsers. The Democrats hoped for the votes 
jf the A; .Kric_.i.:, to enable then to defeat Shernan and elect 

a Le.i.oorcit. Ii^ctead uf this developiiient John A. Gilmer, of 
ITorth Carolina, /urierican re^.resentative of tlie Quaker distrit 

i.:gvc : an ariendnent to the Democratic resolution v/hich left 
nothing of it, except the word "resolved". In its place he 

proposed a declaration that -it v/as .the duty of all good oitir»ens 


(3) Fayetteville Cbaerver Jan. 2, Jan. 9, 1860. The ciost not- 
able of these trials was that of a Quaker, Daniel '.Vorth. at 
Greensboro, Worth was declared an abolitionist. 
(1) Congressional Globe, 1st Sess. 36th Cong. p. 3. 

oppose eve to re: jt'iti.m (1). 'Tell 

knov/ing- the d'-+- >-^ ■ ental efroct u; ...i. ...■ ij.j.t- "•'■' ""'^.ir 

orijiniztition in Korth Carolintt at; well m: tlie (itj.ii{-;er '>u the 

nationnl situation shoulii the ia.sue be uquurely Joined on cee 

tional lines, Gilmer refused to 7ield his strategic position 

and v/ithdrav/ iiis amendment at tne instance of the Denocrats. 

There was also a prcbaoiii'U.y of inducing the Denocrats, in 

the event of failure of their o-;vn plan, to vote for an 

ican for speaker, and thu at least to secure the position to 

a conservative rather than to a Republican. This v;as the 

tei.dency. Lr. Gilier hinself recoiytt': an increasing number 


of votes until the 5Gth ballot. The failure of the Dem- 

ocrats to concentrate on hini was due mainly to personal oppo- 
sition rnavie by the four Dernoorats frcn TTorth Carolina. The 
selection of Gilmer as spaelcer v/oull f reatly increase the 
strengt]: of his party at hon:e. A bitter fifrht hf. ■: mafl : 

by the state Derjiocracy against his re-election to Con£;ress. 
He wa., the most unconpronisir. -'s o ts in 

the state, and in addition, hau voted in congress against 
admission of iCansas under the Lecoinpton Constitution. The 

Uorth Carolina Democrtaic representatives were now in a oo- 
sition tj retaliate. 'Tarren ';Vinslow of the 3rd district wa^ of the cjLi^rbSSional coriu.ittee of five it_:cij.ted 

lij ;i Dei.iocratic caucus to manage affairs for the party until 
the hou'.-'e sh';ul i "'.e cr'-aiiised. Ir. this pcsit-iCn cf -u?/er am" 

influence, ,, un i/;'.;; Southern ri£,ht;ii awvocate 

(1) Cong. Gijbe, 1 Sess. 36t}i Cong-, p. 16. 

(2) Ibid. ?. 21?. 

to Gili:ier' 

seconu Korth CaroT; .'. '■' • 

Smith. 1' ^ ""- 

of ^int - (^rci!;ic oaX':;/. vi: 

li.-. :.:nith to 1C6 for Sheri'^an, brine iriG" 


'■..,,. ntion . T. revent th 

tiie elccti-jii toiicrij. i.ctn, 31iwri.'^i jiu.v wit-iKirev;. il- 

lian Pennington, a' moderate Rexjuulican v/ho had nc7I~" rsed 
Helper's book '.vu:. KU'bsti^uted. Pennington received the 

j3 of the Northern A;, in addition to the Republi- 
cans and v/as elected on the 44ti; ballot ever I.'.cClern: 
Dei'iocrat, -.'iho couli. not conriand -^'t; vites of ^>p, Southern 
Ai^ericans. These had gone back iu Giliaer, v/lio received 16 
votes on the last ballot. 

Cr^anisation of the House was thus effected on the 
1st of Feur.i. :;^ , I'j'GC, two r.onths after the meeting of Con- 
gress. The long drawn out contest ;:tenu( intei^, 
ific&tion '" ^ ' l' -err*-'- ■" r. f>-Tcr.; >. - ^ 
"ielj before parii-llelled. increi 

.ence iri th. - 

.•:;iievc 3ruv/xi's action 

' • -' . ' ...g. oil. 

■lie oi: -1- 

w,-.„_^.... ievelc^, , :r::,:;n h^iu arifsGi^ in the 

locii.1 field vviiioii aeemed to aabare it u .1qu:j troacherous 
foimuation. In October 1859, /as oreaniKed at 

Kaleif'h Irnov/n as The 'Jorkingmen ' s Association. Thin or- 
gani.'.ation, fully equip;, ec; v/ith offioervS anc' machinory, irnr.e- 
iatel7 ahov/ed its intention of orpanif^ing all mechanics 

and v/orkinp-nen throuphout tho r,tr.*:e. Itn rih'f;-'t, n.r. rr,t 

forth in puhlished resolutions, v.'as a refori. oi t te's 

lav/s for raising its revenue. These laws, the v7orkinrrien 

averred, ■•■ere not :^^arf;n in n.crorriance 'vith the prir.cti Ic? 

uBtice equalix;.7; ■niicj c. i.-criininaterl ag^fiinst the non-s_^.v-? 

holder and operateri riost heavily upon th.ose v/ho v/ere least 
ble t-" hear the burc'cnn ? " the etate. The thirrT resolu- 

■^icii re-ad; " That it uuou;iif.o iv.'iu laechanicvj ;./, i \\',) x ,-:i.:x-^. .^w 'j~ 

Korth Carolina, -.vhile resj ecting the riglits and interests of 
other?:, to look also to their own ri£:hts and interests, and 
tc insist "a^-on ti-ax; political eiiUt-lity axiu u^iictt ^c.rticipa- 

iion in public affairs to v/hich they as free men are entitled 

rently.the polit-."rl motive -.vas not to lag behird the 

SGoi.v>;,.ic i.:otive. An a>-arc3.-; zj zn.e •eo-'.le of the atia-ce, siirn- 

ed by the society, appeared December 14. The address 

stressed the oconcmic i.'^otive. The '.vorkingmen's first de- 
:..ttnG. ./as an equali:;&ticn of taxation so that alave property 
.-.ight be coira;elled to caj'' its equjil portion of the public 


(1 ) ^^•esc] ' ■ "he "Vor^- ' ■ ' 
Oct. 26, . 

(2) 3t .iec. I4 


Tno i.ori;;! !.;ar:iin;. Conf;titution,as renodeled in 

1835, provided that slaves betv/een the nges of twelve 
^.nd fifty years nhoul;1 T.c snTvjeot only to a poll tax eqixrl 
tc that paid uy white ; and th^3C Tinder tv/elvc and »-.►«- 
v,ver fifty should be exempte* fron taxation altogether. 
The \7or!:inCT-.en's society put forth statiRticF; to shov/ 
that 187, 84c slaves, worth in the marlret 112,5r>8,a00 dol- 
lars, ■vent entirely untaxed; 7/hile those subject to tax- 
ation as between the afe lir^^its- 159,925 in mmber. and 
valued t.t 159,000,000 dollars- paid into the state > 
treasury only 75,458 uoll'a-H, ■:• fifty cents each, the 
..amoxxnt of the poll tax. 31,000,000 dollars of rioney 
-oaned would pay, under the lav/, 76,000 dollars in taxes 
cr if.ore tlian was paid by ovmers of slave property valued 
at 250,0o0,000 dollars. T}ius the disoriniination in favor 
vf slave property v;as in a sevenfold ratio. 1000 dollars 
worth of land paid a tax of ^jpl.SO. A ne^ro v/orth ^ICOO 
or even :|J;1500 yielded only 50 cents to the state treasury, 
j-iile $1000 invested in manufactures paid $10.00. "he 
statistics offered were trustv/crthy , having been i.iade up 
fron the census, and the comptroller's, and treasurer's 

For the correction of these inequalities the 7/ork- 
ir.^' en's Association pnr 'oser' to rpnnre a conr'tituti 

< ;..u!er'^ ■ ■■'■ ""■■' " ad valor en. To 



.voliwl.ifir lay in the eri- 

".cii't teiiv.eiicy oT OiiC liOii-^jxaverioxuiiit, .vest to uiiite '.vi-^ji 

z'iie non-slavehoa ■;« of th '. , in which event 

':' r litveholders .voulii he in h h0i;eles8 v\inoT±t-j . 

Ziio-ciih "Ad Valorei:;" coiiu.ftmled the support of a fei.7 influen 

ticil sla\'-ehcller , the fight 'v/as - essentially one he.- 

tv/een slaveholuers an;l non-Blave>iol lers , hetv/een slave 

labor and free labor, botl; for econorio ^ olitict'l sii- 

jrei.acy. Gculu the nfctional crit.!iB have been delayed 

iintil the nontf;F;t hrr renchcc its clirrrx an ir.torprrti^i- 

cha^tor " r ade in T-Ox'^n i.,:-rolin£;. liii^jory. • 

The nationa.1 crisis, ,hov;-evcr now cjor-.e £.t liE-ncT, eoon 

"crvcd a? .•:. -"cldinf- hrr-rer Ujcn t:;e o;^''Vor;inf- forces. 

./iifci^ Gac curtail. lit lixuc;LL bjiu ^roi-'iciu ii-..Li. ilXo- 

.■ ._ jeared- slavery no lunger er^istod. 

(1) In Uortii Carolina ;it tlii.s dace tjiere wert- r^early 
hundred thousand slaves, and the nuin'oer of slaveholders 
out of the six hun ' ^' .nd '.v'iite v.l " ';ion'v/as be- 
tween thirty and :.v „ __ . nd. See e .e of Standard 

Dec. ES , 1859. This estimate was based on the census of 


(£) I.Ioses A. Bledsoe, a Democrat and the owner of about 

40 slaves, had first an Ad Valorem bill into the hounif: 

of coi/iinons in 1855, but it met with no favor fr 

party and v/as never prominent as an issue until _.,>..- ^. 

r. Bledsoe continued its support V7]:en adopted by the 7orlr- 
in later by the IThig i'S^rty, and was ruled out of 

'r.(j tic ranl-rs. He is still livint; In Rslei£-h at a 

Hjreen old a^-e and recalls a!'! the ilotnils of this rcm- 

lc-„... „ _.. 

all slaveholiers , he : ' 't 

it tc be a .' 

. :. _. -r,:.. ••:-• ;t ir. 7r: , to 

ci ctijiuidati .'i.' 

Valor.: t^IhtiI- in i tform. The 'Vorlcing- 

i.en's Ast3 0ciatior, . ..^ .ed it: nf-r ni-^n c-iirt- 

associations ; - uhc '. V;hi£ p„r«y. 

John reel, an intense o-rtisan oi tronr Ichr.ter, I'C- 

cure t]'c cc.vAlUv.te . 

The Dei'iocr.'. ';n held tiioir convention in ".r.rch, re- 
noninatetl Governor Ellis, and declared ^-gainst anj attempt 

to 'listurb tiie existing' I'lethod ol* raising the revenue as 

"pren.ature" , impolitic, uuiigeroua , ami unjust. As 

evidenced "by a strong state riglitt; plank, the party ho:''>;.d 
tc turn public attention to the state issue and fi>; it 

upon the dangers, to be apprehended by the South iroi'; 
Northern encroachments upon slavery. Their defeat in 
August, they claii^ed, -/oulrl aid in their aefeat 1^: t>e 
Eoveiiiber presidential election and mean a v/eahening 
of the 3out}iern attitude. The ^*ig State convention had 
ridiculed t]:e idea of teces'i . '•'hf- event of Democrat- 
ic defeat in Hovenber", The DeiiOcrat;-- nov/ declared such 
a course a strong possibility, urged unity. 

The t\70 candidates a>'rnr,rr;fi ?•, joint ' -iv '■ .,„- 
gan a vigorous c- ' v.. Govori^or Sllis, as : ucV. ..j possi- 
ble iscusciion in the field c ional politics, 
-'ili!-{i^r_i. .■^_i^:^:i':ted_upo^ directing attention to ' 
(1) ',Vhig Convention Proce .■ , Raleivgh Register, Feb.-??9 
IQuC. (£) It is interesting ^e th^.t the ten:^cr 

•v 'i'^r 

in all 

, . 

viho -vc 



oast for t: 

in t.-„. 


^SC '. . j. 'j.]i(j 

po verf- 


Ir 1 ,. . 

± 1 

ei... . .a ..' • paign irocl was f . ,.,. 

) Democratic *x: . . xV 1860. 

'■'.' ion 0-' rl.;'r'r . T'" ^^r.r-^lc r':fused to "he alam- 

cu i.i: uu i;r.c; n;.-ticn:Ll i^i'U'za^.ion, .vr.crevioon, -Governor Elli3 
fii:;illy *. to state i::i5U0G droitly threw hi.: 
opponent upon the "icfcnr^ivc I;-* callin- •ittcntion to the 
fact t]:at v/hile t:ic^- pli.txor;.. ■.itj;:iui.'..ed un cqiuili:ii/.- 
tion of taxation on all forms of property it nade no pro- 
vision for e?:emptions. He asaiinierl the ohject was to tax 

ovens, ,:ot3, pans, tin cups, chickens, and eggs as well 
as slaves. Despite the efforts of his opponent, the can- 
paig-n assiu^iecl the character of o pot, pan, ant"! tin cup 
issue. This war: no .small factor in the result. I'.en 
everywhere p-re opposed to taxation in detail, and the r.iere 

discussion of such a propo;iiticn alarms a certain class 
of voters. 

The serious Deraocrafcic ar£'iunent against Ad Y:^lcre r, 
tariation of slaves ■^va.-. r-^l-moed ir thr. claim of ""'"- (=^ st- 
ern slavehol :er that hi. should, not be taxed ten ..ollars on 
the thousand dollar value of each of the slaves with 

which ho cultivated his fields, 7;hile t'-p^ Tostern farmer, 

using- rree labor, we::t untaxed. Yet the western farmer 

feu his laborer and paid him wages, while the eastern far- 
mer 7;a3 only at t'.ie ex-ense of the keep of the slave. 
■7ith ti.e tax ci>;.cied, the cost of slave labor was thus far 

from equal to that of free labor unless the original 
cost-price of the slave was considered and this v/*o only 
fair. Ho.vever, could slave property have been brought 
under Wi-s^its fair burden of taxation, the effect 

'. -'-■ 'ippr. '- -e- :ve the taint '^-'' ^i scriminatioii -w.u -q 
t-ive every Giti,.en, -.vhether - or not, an Inter- 

(1) Gf Greensboro Patriot, April J, 19G0. 

u;jt tion. i:orth Car- 

olina stoor. ri"! rrnf? •L)\n^s- fr.f' rj(,,it.'-r-n] '-.f.'.tr' ;:_ 

ing slave.s .o^orty. 

The Deuccarcy, oc30i;i:ying the positioii of defender 

of southern rights and led "by the uggreacive governor, 

v;as, in the end able to overmatoh the increa?:ing strength 

of the "liigs. ?]lli^ was re-eieoted, hut by a reduced 

majority of over ten thousanri votes at the tine \7hen the 

largest vote ever polled in tne state was brought out. 

In the victory wa.? react tne nocision of the majority 
against Ad Y alorem an-I its incident slavery agitation 
until quieter tires on that f-ubject in national politics. 

Closer exan-+nc tion of the democratic attitude to 
national iDolitics preceding the August eloci:5 •■ 

3jiief factor in iccftss. The conv5n;;ion 

in Ilarch reaffirned the Cincinjiatti platform of 1C56, 

pabbed .jtronj,, . ... .-.. . in support of i:^l^ lui-r ooc'Li. 

.'ccision, end, in refccence ti. Jo}a Erov/ii'& raid, declar- 
ed that Ui-ion ooulc" no longer endure yxxA'.i 
Enorct.c] r .-• ' : . . .-J^. Vf-,-. After noudns tion, C 
Z7 " ■; befure t];c convention and delivered a speech in 
7/hich he took a prophetic view of the national situation. 
In re:*sr ncr; ^.r r-'.e a_.praching national election he held 
:nat tJie o>:istezxce of slavery, not in the territories but 
in the South itself --;{.-. at stalce. "^he abolition c 
ery here at home", he suiu , "i^ ^.-..j ue^xgn oi our , oppo- 
nents. This is the hand that cem.ents all -slav- 
ery elements in one solid coIxit'ii. „ .,3". 

II) illection ' " ■ , o^"^7.~7.~,"x~ 

De:',;ocratlc Or " 29, 18u(.(2) 

.,,..- -. --. (3) 


'- . 1 - , 


Lew , '/nolo HO t) 

'crre' or 'vr or. ti. ive. Thonrh OQ.T- 

ne^.xy -.^^-r.i:, -"'"^ .:trifu, ..,. .vere 

jet unv/illing; ': or their dci'sririCG while the cncny 

_iie i.iain features of the presidential contest of 
136G were as folldws: Tho conventio.-. of the national 
Der.iooratic partj net at Charleston April 25. It v/as a 
iorC;:;one conclusion that it v;o ild he difficult to secure 
harmony hetween tho northern and southern factionf3 of the 
part7 as to the powers and duties of congress in regard 
to territorial slavery. Doxiglas and the northern De- 
mocracy would stand or fall with popular sovereirnty. 
In the vie?; of the soiithern Democracy the Dred Scott 
decision covered thr •■''-'-i- ■ — vrfi . Tv/o r-^---''"'^ were 
■brought in "by the comr-'ittee on platform. The majority 
report, securing- in the eornr:ittee the adherence of only 
tiiree states nore than the minority report, err.hodied the 
demands of the South on the subject of slavery. It de- 
clared that the federal goverrjnent was hound to protect 
slaves, as legality existing property, in every territory 
until the hecun.e a state. The minority report, pre- 
sented hy a majority of northern delegates on the comir.itir-- 
Tpe, proposed to ahide by the action of the Supreivie Court 
in all slavery cases coning up from the territories. The 

northc ^ if cr._ .. obli- 
gation i;ion und u repu- 
diation of popular Bov , ^ 
i\&intain t;:-. "' ■ '■ ^. ■- -„i. - - 
otlier hand, cottc- 

if t}ie declaration of "che convention in regard to 

not"'-'-iivocally Tor n'otoc.tion 1;}ie;'' v/oiild 
retire Jiivc-^uiun. T}ie Urua :-ru;jur ui^jxaj, vul- 

ing strenrth of the ::jn';h 'bol-'.. esented in the 

Gcr.cittee, v.'lien the rt:c;rtr: v;ere flnall;/ -vote;! on, the 
norliier:. delega'JCo'w. zm^ aiv.. g;. borio border str.te 
Gonsrevatives, secured tlie adoption of the minority re- 
port. "Thereui^on, the I'elerr.teo of all the cotton states, 
Ic^ uy Wm. L. Yancey of Alabf :ia, .vithdre'-v from t/ie con- 
vention. After all prospect of a nomination had dis- 
appeared the renaininjr delecatcR adjovirned to meet again 
at Baltimore, June IS. Another holt of the southern '■l el- 
evates occurred at Baltir ore. Doup-las was nominated b;/ the 
remaining, or northern ejection of the -art^?', while the 
new bolters; retired to Riclimond where thay met the orig- 
inal boltorc- from Charleston and nominated James C. Brecl:- 

Ileanv/hile, on I.lay 18, the Republican Uonvontion 
met at Chicago an.l nominated i^brahaia Lincoln upon a plat- 
form which declared tliat slavery dil not exi'ot in the ter- 
ritories; that congress he: no i:o.ver uc legalize iw there; 
and that the union of t}ie states must and should "ba pre- 
served. The Tnig party, now called the union party, met 
at Baltii-iiore, Lay 9, and nominate;.. Joiin Bell of Tennessee 
on a i^latform containing besides the constitution. 

ITorth Carolina h^'lr. fh- i?"".-.- irr -, -^^ri -, of the plat- 
"_orr; cori..:itteec in z.^i. Cixur. . conv , ' v 

twecn the ■*■' 

''ll_I2^f::_i:ri ""^ m-jorlt;,- ro_ort. , t occurred 

il) The'c"" 


• loio..- 

..u,/<jvi.i, ...u ..wil-h C— • "■-■•• dclecfi-tior -"■■'• in the 

continued to bulTot for a nomineo until ad- 
Joxirnnent. '.Then the seoonc. bolt occurred at Baltinore, 
'-^- "es v/ith one exception, -■ ■ -- to R:' 
t their ""rochenri'lrre . 

-• ■^*-'^ ■;>^. T •— ,-.T- ',-,-; 2,-n its uei'init'^ -• "^ ■! '- ■':'-ito sec- 

ti tions ■■.'1 -teR in i;iJO iield, the 

'.locesn see: .:i.ll. Yet hojin^' 
a£- ^' ■ hope, v.... --rty in Korth Carolina preparec^. for 
the contest oT hallotD. Ilr. Ilolden proposed that Ercclr- 

enriilre electors he supported on condition that they 
•yvoiil i vote for the strongest nan, Breckenridge or Douglas, 

against Lincoln, and tiiat if the i^tate's vote v/ould elect 

neither, then the electors should vote as they pleased. 

The proposition r:et no imiteu opposition, and though the 

Katter was not definitely determined before the djite of 

the election, a united effort was made, on this under- 

stanaing, to suppress t'ne Doug'las electoral ticket. 

Douglas Dernccrtat. v/ere n\i2;iercur. in the , 

but v;ere net v/ith the arg\urient that two elo^tor?! tickets 

would not benefit their candi late and ni"'-'" ru.. 

state to Bell and the THiig-s. The electors, hov/ever, were 

not taken down, thou^-h tiie vigor with which the Demo- 
cratic press set to v/ork to weed out Douglas voters was 


'1[^ 7.W^. Hol-e:;: delegate 
■:■ v;ill not ^ 

SSug!i|9-noSi£itlM?^^^'-^^* ^^^<^^Sh he did not assist m 
(5) Standard, Aug. 15, 1 . "^ 

(4) Standard, Aug. 22, l^uu. 

not .vithout the rewiu-u o l" ..ucocss, even thou; h it io 
vlifl'icult to deteriiine v/lieth-3 ' a majorl .^ 
Union ux' the Deiaoc ratio jjttrty, 

. . :'j.K not u irtiotor in the cOcc-tJor 
13. llorll: Carolina e-j( ■ " ■' "■ ar of hii 

elec ■ ';}ie ueciaiun oi' tho^.e vv}i.o wer*' 

cjue-i' ,.crt Breokenriclce or Bell. The de- 

cision was to "be "betv/een these two, and the - ■'"' "'-nining; 
factor v/an the voter 'e "^luclgnent as to vhich would the 
"better conserve sotithern interests b^ :T&featin£r Lincoln. 

A vote ca' •: "r^v 3el" -mO-- -.--f- r.-i- "be cast in '->'r^ in- 
terest of conoervatiSK anl quiet in national yrirties, hut 
v/ould go further to strenrtrien and reinvig-crate the 

rapidly r-rowinf_- rt,-. te TTnig party. "n .. '' -i^ i^'.^-', 

since it .vaa generally understood that Breckeiiridc,e'3 

chances of election though sriallj. were better than those 

(1) ^ 

of iiell,^^ :- vote uait f^r tlie Is-tter would wealcen the 

chances of :_ victory over the Hepublicans and so bring 
the country to the verge of dissolution, or even possibly 
effect dissolution. Undoubtedly the fear of radical 

action by the lower south in the event of leraocratic de- 
feat led many ITorth Carolinians to sur)T ort Breckenridge in 

the hope of removing the cause for such action. 

Ihe state Democracy, however, ]i,l not go so far 
■--z to make dissolution of t}ie U^jicn c-ntli-.-.-: -t ii on Breck- 
enridge's defeat. Sucji t. -•ro'^ (^ ~-^ Cc* 

^^ » nly a 

ll) 3tan.^^v\ 3eot.ll, 1 •-■ . 
(2) Cf. '-to^ille CI 
(3) •.7ili.:ixi^ -^ily Journ.' 1. 

o± v/iriiiiiic, votea tiiroutja tiio icara it. ■vuulu. ai-uuue. 

The answer to the suc£-astion v/as an ir.L enae mass niecting 

helii at SalisTj'.iry in '-^ <-■ niddle o2 Cctooer. .. .... Derio- 

cr -iisB attendeu the two daya' session. 

The lea'.infr unionists nade speeches in regriilar program. 
ar;-h^-.. , ...-..^v.^, .. ... or.iith, and Vance were ear^erly lis- 
tened to by great cro'adK assenhled around out-d.oor plat- 
forms. Vance s^-oke for two hours during the evening of 
t"' first da^- amid a co"*' 'ri^.r-linf- rain and though his 
audience contained hiindreds o'" ladicr. no one left the 
assemblage until h.e had finished. "But one sentiiriOnt 
prevailed," said the tc -■''rtnr ,"^r,r. tl-rt 'vas: le v/ill 
fight for tf:e constitution, tlic vmion, and the laws v/ith-^ 
in the union and the- lav/s. '.^e will not be influenced by 
::eceders ir. the .-^o-ith or 'Blaol: Aet^ublicj.ns in thn north, 
ana .70 v/il^ novor give up our ir.:. wi uutiions until stern 

necessity compels us to believe tjiat they, being no lon- 
ger adecuate to our orotection, we must resort to that 

right of revolution w}iich is inherent in every x^eople." 

Thic. program, announced in the Salisbury meeting, was the 
unionists' defiance, given in advance to those of the 
Democratic party who might entertain the idea th^t the 
state would folio hotspurs of the cotton states in 

an attempt tc .. the Union. 

(1) For an acc-iun' '^.is mee' Register, 

Oct. 17th, 1S60. 

(2) iialeigh Register, Oct. 17th. IGGO. 

(3) Comptroller's Report tc Governor, Ellis letter 

boo'''' ^- "1 "11 . 

receivr oluto "itj > . "ailc the 

veto •; for Bell "= r ■ '^•r.^Tc-i - 

:..: imioii vot 

; V(. conr;i(ler.-;cl . The vote -nlotte'l 

h" r 

olii v^.r '/irjioiaS, ''Cue plot i.; ;-l;..oc'c czii.-.o c^y .^ii.^'iLuT 
i:: detail tc uhcrnatorial vote in August, 
bear ;\ Glo::n ■Lr.:in7ifol..ncie t~ THii^ tw.''. Serine ratio 'ivisiona 
_~^'cvicuc zo loi;^. '2n.c i^:rcup oi' tj;^uii'Jicc cluEtcrin^.- ^ihout 
Albemarle an.l Pamlico Sounds, ami covering the ea&tern 
or.l of ^y^.e. rt'ite fron north to nouth g&vo *1ilf r.r:. joritics 
;.:,■ in rcr::".er tj-cit compacts with tiie non-sl^veiiolding 
-.vest. The v/est gave Bell riajorities except v/here the 
alli£n.-'.ent had nor; bccone pemanontly brclren through spec- 
ial influences. The middle east, the east of the slave- 
holding Deciocrac^, '.vas alriost solidly arrajed for Breck- 
enridge. besides controlling this section acr'^'^" f-c 
broadest portion of the state, the. "^emocratc no..- iiold fast 
the tier of tobacco producing counties along the Tirginia 
border anc* the group of cotton proiiucing counties -" the 
'.vest '.vhicn bordered on Soutli Carolina. Botli these groups 
\7ere -.vestern according to the ancient divisior,, and had 

been ?/restS»ed from the ^aigs only since 1C50. 

Jdorth Carolinians of all pj-.rties cane together «rtp- 
under a com; .on defeat. i:et a calrii acdeptance of the re- 
sult and acquiescence in the national decision seeuied 
v/idespread as evidenced by the press, (l) The situation 

ll) otanlard, i:cv_^ 7, 18G0, Raleigh Register, Kcv. 14. 
I06O, lireensboro patriot, Kcv* 15, ICGO. Carolina .Vatch- 

man, i;ov. 1£ , 18G0, Payetteville Observer, IIov. 12, 

after the election possessed no feature unusual to a pres- 
idential cont St beyond a strained expectanc:' and a dread of 
the effects of the result in leas conservative quarters 
of the Union. The conviction undoubtedly prevailed that 
the necessity for preserving the Union overbalanced the evils 

to be apprehended from the powers of a president elected 

on sectional lines. They must defend their institutions 

from encroach JTjents ; but, at the same time, they felt they 

must not injure a cause capable of the best defences^ and 

admitted to be in peril, by taking counsel of passion rather 

than wisdom. They preferred to av.ait the action of the 

new president, and to iiiake resistance to acts only if they 

should demand it . 

(1) Cf. Letter of \'.'m. A. Graham, Standard, ^feiV" 14 , 1B60. 

3ECK3.SI LE . 1 

Ohn.rter 5. 

The ^-">^'-^ '.v ''o r.irp^i *-':':-" n", r.^ -^hp TTr^.i ^,: :^ otatcS 
as a federal coinoact betwec.:: sv/erc:: ten liar;, at 'af- 
ferent tines, firnl ui. of different cirouKstances , 
held nv/a^ over the o: larre nasr,eE of t:hc Ar''.crican 
;^-'eo::le. The first notev/orthv exorer.Gion of ^iiiu theory 
v/as in tlie Virg-inia and Kentuolcy Resolutions of IvyB and 
IVl^y, --.assed as rciaonstranoes arainst the Alia): and 
Sedition Acts. Its secon.L.and raore serious expression 
■^as tne Hartford convention held hj several of the "ev/ 
England states in 1314 for the purpose of redres;-:in£: their 
grievances jfxruainc - o u t of the 7;ar of 1P.12. The Southern 
States learned early the necesnity of a strict construction 
cf the Constitution, both for n.^^/^, i -nnt-t^-iti "^"nn.! 
protection. Strict constriiction naturally al^ie;'. itself 
vrith the conoact theory fror. ??hich secession foll'iv/s as a 
cnrr'^i "tnti ona ! n^-ht, The stntr. rT^-V-^n "^nctrine, pr.r-s1"'~ 
tlirou^:!: several Soafos of ucvelorncnt , a;oearefl in it" nost 
forceful and consistent rorir, in 1861. 

Thouph the T'^' rht o"" p:ncosm'o'' "vr-r eveTC"* ^er! ^ ■>■ "^ •" "i 
by nost of the cr:: :;'caues for '.■... prci;cction ^r 
W slavery, the interests oi tne border states and of 'c)io 
cotton states rrore neither rrlth res cct t 
slavery nor equally strong in iiciua;£ secession. '.Viti: 
regard to the slaveholdlng interest, there v/ere divergen 
cies in the border state;; thonselvrs. 

Virfrinia, Eorth Carolina, XentucJcy an.! I'ennesset 
oach, l^'iiough slavcholding in t;heir larger ami r.oro 
fertile sections, contained large nountainois areas 
in '.vhich slave iaDor as a system had never taken 
root ^-:' fohr.hlv novo"^ •.•70tt1'! hnvc talrcn ro"t. 
This laouiitain country v/i*..'! i*:s hociogeneous ponula- 
tion all laj contiguous, r::aKing up the v/estern 

Tcrtions or Virrima and TTorf-! Carolina anri V^r — 

eastern portions oi' Ilentuclry an 1 Tennessee. T-i' 
section, only indirectly influenced "by slavery never 
develo-f-ed the -articnlaristio r^-othod of constitu- 
tional intcrj;rctation con. on zd tJic siavenol^mg 
sections of the^e four states ajivl to the lower South. 

In ITorth Carolina tlie '."ester:; :ion-slavehold- 
ing .:ection v/as zhe basia oj. uhe ..iiig ^}arty. Fro 
it the party had developed gatl^ring to its sup^y- 
kovt no!" cr."'/ ■.-."' .erentr:' in the east who were not de- 
pendent upon the slave interest but others also fron 
the ranlcs of the slaveholders sufficient to ra.'ce it 
the dominant -artv in the State for the fifto-r, ''earv5~' 
betv/een 1...5 anu 1 jl when cilavery agitation rrsi: m 
abeyance. "driven iron rower by the agitation over 

the comproi.'iise measures of 1850, the party dis- 
a oared in name with its national rototype. in 
tho poorly fitting dress of know-nothingism the '.Thig 


spirit livGLl on through the decade •'.,,•' vra'd ready in 
1^60 to oi") ose itself to the particularistic ten- 
dencies of the Denocratic party. 

By the *Jth of Tlovenher, IfiCC , i': """■ rlerinito- 
ly JcnoTTn -hrouc-hout the country that "r. Lincoln 

hadnheen elected presi:lent. As evincoH "by the 

(. 1 > 

nres;^ a '■•irit of acceptance of this result and ac- 

quiesence in it seeried widespread in Forth Carolina. 

The a^-/'-ellaticn, "suhmissionist" , a-n-^lied in none 

denocratic quarters, h^c'i nn '■nTinr c^ arousing re- 
sentment in jiny larf;;o mas. or the people. "'illiam 
T7. Holden hastened to annovmce a policy for the Den- 
ocratic party, though .ran nuch eviaerice that 

Governor ?:llis' faction would not; long tolerate his 

{ o ) 
dictation. " Let us v/atch ana wait»" lie said, 

"2orth Carolina will never perriit !'r. Lincoln or his 
party to touch the institution of slavery. Her 
people are a unit on this point. They may not ad- 
vise or a-.prove seces ion, but tJiey will not sub- 

mit to indignities or encroachinents. " Business 

men were advised to stand firn and he prepared to 
resist the threatened panic. Econornj'- //as insisted 
upon. The peo :le were especially warned against a 

(1) Raleigh Register, ITovw 14, 1^60, Greenshoro""atr 
lot, Xiov. lo, IMGO, Carolina -.Vatchr-an, Nov. 12 
156C, Fayetteville Ch.-pwer, T.ov:. 12, l^-.c, Stan- 
dard, --V. 14, lubV. 

J?! lJilf?i^-rton Daily Journal, Kov. 12. ICGC. 

I. J Ibid, Eov. 15, ir;50, I^:ov. 16 l-.'^- 
(4) Standard, i:ov. IC, I'lOV. 

I -I \ 
-^r.r.ic in the rl ■ Tn±:; l:ir operty 

v.'LiL- '.rr-iarod uw ■.. xi, .... .;iin£;er whatever. 

The idea of seces ion had Lecorie rar.iliar m 
north Carolina ■■•urine the agitations over slavery in 
the past decaae, though it was still field by the ma- 
jority as an evil affecting their Southern neighbors 

rather than tnemselves. But now since an accurate 

observation of t}:e -jolitics of South Carolina had, 
after vne election, brouriit seoesi-Jion as an is:,ue 
closer, the two theories as to the nature of the 
United State.^ Goverj^jnent v;ere drav/n out in sharper 
contrast than had ever before occurred. ■Villia.i-i A. 
Graham and. George E. Badrer, the i.ost prominent rep- 
resentatives of the ol-i- TTn.:.' ^'^.-■^i-^-^ •-■(■: 'rate, 
had ar;7ays held to the national t'lcory of t!ie Con- 
stitution anrt in consecue':ce , tna~ revolution r/as the 
only r.eans for rer'--- ■ of grievarcefc. ' r. araha •=: 
now said: " A State cannot secede, and the necessity 

for revolution aoes not yet exist. The revolu- 
tion ( for by whatever na^ne it be called, this is its 
effect; shouia nave been uaae earlier, or r.rast be 
postponed later. -Vho can prepare a declaration 

(1) Ibid, Eov. 10, 1860. Fayetteville Observer 
Dec. 3, IbbO. 

(2) Standard, iJov. 14, 1-60, Letter rrom Kr. Graham. 

of in:'', p "Ti.' , r. rnlir.' " Itr 

have been outvoted in nn elontion in which we tool: 

■ , 'ate I: -n 

clcutea v;tia, nov/cvcr obiioxiuuL; , vc uuv^; ji'jO :''j'iie(l 

(1) . to u:.; ror our votes." 't. 

Graham 's position r/as th.jiT; or p. national rntncr than 

a sectional states: .tiii, nn^i ^1101^11 his viuw,.- .veru out 

of harnony '.71th tne tejuiejicies of the South as r. 

whole, they com. .ancle d the support 01 a very large x,o¥ 

tion of the teople of his ovm State. The old Tnig 

;jiress enohasi::ed the sane viev/ and invited argiu-^ent 

in rerutation. The .'^eTnoorats seened to be av/ait- 

ing the meeting of tne legislature anst ^ri-*one 

authoritative expresrjion frora Governor Ellis before 

ta.'cmg a deciciett course. 

The uorth Ce^rolina General Asser.bly, elected 

in August, net in vefular session on ITovernber 19, 
1S60. The Senate was cor:posed of thirty-two Den- 

ocrats anil eighteen '^-^:-r a. gain of or.' " •- the Tnigs 
over their nuriber in t'ne last senate. In the House 

(1) Standard, llov. 15, liGC. letter froir. !:r. (i>"'"r 

(2) A State cannot secede. It may be asked: 

'•That is a Stiite to do in the event of Congress ^- - 

ing lav/8 -_ ressive and intolerable tu iier citiiicn:.? 

We ansT/er at once that ahe jr.ust resort to revolv 
tion. The right of revolution is one inherent ii. 
every people, in every for^. of goverrj^^ient ; but at t>o 

sair.e tine it is ^^ right to v/hic'h no people wil" 
resort unleSL; the grievances to be redressed ure r.ore 
bur lensome un . intolerable than v/ould be those v/hich 
.vould flow from a revolution." Greensboro Patriot 
Hov. 15, I'joG. * 


of Coi.u.on^ .vere si:--.ty-five Democrat:-: unc, fifty- five 
Whics. a Gain of eip^^t for the latter. ..rcanisa- 
ticE ufxp. effected by the election of Eastern Demo- 
crats as president of the ,....;.;;e h>.m -rea-er of the 
house respectively. Henry T. Cl;.rk-. in 

his office as president of the senate made a conser- 
vative address in v/hicn >r nr^^^r;^. -rit the ncricup- 
ness of the political situation :: -'-J '-'- 

n".iition an:1 honesty in interpretinn thn .-/ill of the 

e.ple. The le^i^^l^^-^'^ recrc' tuH'r conpoious 

oJ' the importance of :,r,.:ion. The next day frov 

Ernor Ellis sent in hi? -e.-: re. He made four dis- 
tinct recoir.r-nM.-,^-i ^r>." -tit. the ;"a1)ject of federal re- 
lations: 1. a GonierciiiGO oi ^nc :>;ut;hcri. states; 2. a 
convention pJ-e; 3. the arn;ine and equip- 

-- ..^- 3ti.te; 4. resistance to federal coercion. 
"The plan of the Governor as seo form in una docux:ient 
.vas: That the Asseiubly should dispatch delegates at 
once to a Southerr. conference and issue at t}ie sarr.e 
time a call for a state convention to ;r.eet after the 
conference had done its work. 

(1) The i.opular branch of ':he Eorth Carolina General 
Assembly v/as called the House of Comr,;ons until the 

Constitutional Convention of 1868. 
(2) Report o:' H. T. Clarke's sreech to the Senate, Ra 
leigh Reeister, Tov. 21, IbGC. 

iZ) A full report of the governor's message may be 
found in all State paioers ^" '^-^^ ■^"^-. See '^aleif'h 
Register, ]!Iov. 2;?, 1860. " '' 

The oonvention was ilesip-ned to rti: rk of 

tho conference. Tlv. riiir of activity 

.ui. . radicnli^n. thu^; ;:ecur. rccomriendaticno 

only tardy sup^rort. Two iTaotiona at once clearly de- 
fined theii.aelves a;:;ong tlie Derrioor- u~ beru. One 
faction, ":nov;n as tiie conservativetJ , opposed the pro- 
losition for a oonvention as oreiaatiire and as unwarr- 
anted by existing; conditions; they v/ere v/illing, how- 
ever, that Jelecates sho-;lcl be ^ent to a Southern coh 
ference. The other faction, hnov/n as the radicals, 
supported the whole of the. governor 's plan. The 
^Thigs opposed both the conference an/1 "he convention. 
Resolutions and counter-resolutions were offered as 
to the attitude the state shoula tal:e. A test vote 
was had in the lower house on the nature of the fedea? 
nl £.GV3rr.r'^er.t. D. "D. Ferebee, an eastern Whig offer 
ed a resolution er;bodying the national theory and de- 
claring that there cculd bo no such thing a;- secers- 

11^.ZI^^'1°^'^^ revolution. Only the ^higs voted for it 

(1) Senate and House Jouriials, 1860-lGGl 2~7 Thl" 


«a°i""ia\ot°^"r''- "^'"' Oon'titutlon of the United 

all cirnnrr,«^«.,«.„^:„r^.^^.V °^ I^o^th Carolina i^nn^A.. 

the connervativec caritir 

t? t^ 

it to the federal relations couij dttee . The Jtute 
cori 'vot tiieory, entp-:'.llTij;" thi t of h r.tate to re- 

:^.c iior cLivereicHty >io w^ll, TViis i .^..-^.^ly oi'i'er- 

ea b7 ti raciictil Dei.'iocrat. A v/estern conservative 
.•uoved an anendnent in r/hich the results of the elect., 
ion were deplored, but affirming the Jenae of the 
Assembly tc be that the rights of the people of the 
State shoul 1 be observed an^l enforced in '.he Union 
un:.ier the ConfJtitution, at all ha::ards and regard- 
less of consequences. The ibsolution v/ith the 

a.'nend.r.ent v/as acce'ited by an aje and nay vote of six 

ty -one tc sixty- three, v/hich accurately regis- 
tered the mu:erical strength of the two o-posing 
theories in this branch o: Asser.bly. The anend- 

nent, decl.virinr the ,s.^nence of sufficient cause for 
action, secure; ;cr tiio resolution the votes of the 
jonservative Democrats, -.vho, while believing in the 
right of seces icn, o--nr^-^ ii;. ^.-,ercise. 

The te::,p£r or tac Assembly was undoubtedly pa- 
cific, though the situation held possibilities v;hich 

(1) Senate .... .. - Durnals , I'GO-lSbl, 46. 

(1) 9 shn 'Thips ; mch iincasiness. Sh'iuld nation- 

al iiiii-ir.'j take i^uci: u cuur-^u ac ^o u::ite the t'.TO 
factionB oi' tlie State Democracy the Whigs v/ould be 
i: a ninority. ;^eo briber 6, a neriorial of 
radical cnarL^cicr .. ,c;e;ii/fju -run ^;;t; Southern 

Rights Association of licDov/ell county. By defjifin 
ti:is ."eMoriRl was fron the western portion of the 

• state ur. ' .va>s present;' .. . t- ,^>- ''enocrat. 

It v;as used by Is to £-ive color to their 

claiiTi that the p.t«nd for the ntate ri£-hts doctrine 

^as not— ^iifeXy .^ ... . ,. ^.c-.u^-in ..laveholder^ . 
I 2 ) 
The smouldering fires of eastern and western 

sectionalism, were so far froD being dead tliat a 

new state rights oa^.er tactfully declared in its 

second issue that it would eschew all sectional 

t;uiic>'t».txOn& bunt,: 'HuXK for the feiitirb stctte u.nd 


her c;.. ji. interests. 

A joint corrir.iittee on federal relations brcrr-ht 
-n a rr.ajority and a minority rei:crt to the fr.vo 
houses Lecei..ber 12. The najority re con advis- 

(1) Jonathan ^orth, a '-Thig rner.'iber from the Qualcer 
district, wrote to a constituent early in Decem- 
ber that the majority of the Democrats were for 
the preservation of the Union, but that. they would 
sooner or later, go witri the r -' - 1 leaders; that 
to his mind the Assembly was. 1 doubt, the 
most unpatriotic body that ' iibled in j?orth 
Carolina since t}ie Aevolutiu;i, -' • "^ -^'-r, 
irritten to J. J. Jackson, is i ion of 
::rs. noffit, Raleigh, N. C. 

(2) State Journal, Dec. 12, ITiO. 
(:i) lb. , Dec. 5, l.GC. 


Qd the ctill of a attute conventl n tm^i '^ha aispatcn ux 

delef-ates other Southern states with a view to 

securing united action. The rr.inoritv opposed lioth 

these 'jur^oses on the ^.Tou^jd u:?^ficiert r-v.m:''' , 
' ' (2) 

::oec". moderation. The Thig.s Hnl oonser- 

vitive Deiiocrat? "•■'•■n'f- ^joget'ier in ^.m.ov i^^ 

: ii.-.rit/. _ lirt.i 'j-i:' o}a^"' - ■ • - .•-.jort;, 

- continued until adjournment 

for the recess, Dec. 22, t;70 dajrs after the 

secession of South C&rolina. Whether tns convention 
woiilrt he cai-Led seemed to he in doTiht. A majority 
of the leg-islatnrF: r.ho^/e^. r.c clis icpiti on to run ahead 

of the wishes ci' z::c people. 

The division vhic'r. lofined iti^elf among the 
Democrats m tnc General Assemhly on reception of 
the Guvernori jutstj-.a^e, li&u rci.^.iuj.y utixcoi-i j.wi;j. u;^XwUt-,'ii- 

out zr.e state. holdefljf^^ who had formerly divided 
honors witn "cne governor m tne leadersnip ox t]je party 

nov^ set iiir.iSeli in the forefront of the conservatives 
and witn ni£: accustomed, editorial energ^y anci ability 
be£:an the ficht in the of the Standard against 

state rignts as interpreted ty Governor Ellis and the 

(1( Senate an^: House Journals, Dec. IE, 1660. 
(2) Jhid, Dec. 12, 1860. 


iLiuicnls. Only one otner promincnl; Der:ocratic 
leader, Ex-oenator Bedfora Brovm, now a moi^ber oi' the 
General AssernLiy, stood ;vith Mr. Holden. Eeverthe- 
j.eiJo the conservativeo Dei.iocrats helu .:.■■.. balance of 
power Def.veen the V.'higs and the radicals and Mr. 
Holden received the support of both IVhigs and conser- 

I.'.r. Holden charged the governor v/ith the pur- 
rose of dissolving the Union out of hand at the in- 
stance of the '7illian L. Yancey school -^ " Southern 

oolitlcians, and -'.n defiance of tho will of 'the neo- 


pie. The radicals replied by readin£- hiro out of 

their party ranks and repudiating the services of his 
paper, a procedure to wiiicn he narte no ohjection and 
one froir, which he derived benefit to hi:: claim that 
his proserirtiun way dxie to ni-- '--'^ ''"^t of the con- 
stitutional Union. Enjoying now a ireedom or action 

tne exercise or which had hitherto constantly created 
dissensions among his rornier party associates, ILx. Kolr- 
den attacked the radicals as enei.aes to the state and. 
nation. His opposition was heavily felt by his 
op.:onents. A new state rignts party organ was set 
up whoiie rirst months of existence were devoted al- 
most wi.oiiy to tne defense oi tne governor and th* 
radicals against the onslaughts of r.r. Holden. 

(1) 3tixi.aL.rd, flov. 2B, l;:bC. 



luanjr saw iii the ^Itiitition the v/orlciiip out a.: olacs 

intolerance on tne part oi vnr. ramonir?. "r. !Iolden 

har".''-'r I, -or r^ r_i nT'o'-. ol-lcr , in r.'- -n-'-. erocnt 

olitioi^ily, iueiitiiied witn the Glaveiioi,;ing rcci:!".e. 

The first distinctively seces'sionist r.eeting 

held in Ilort}! C:\rolina was a town rectlnr- held in 

Wilii.iu^'ton uourt-iiouse Koveriber l'^ , ±..uo, tne date 

upon which the Gefiri-.l AsBembly met in Raleigh. 

".esoluticns rassed by it .despairing- of the Union, de- 

:.-.anueu a state convention, an..,acivisea tne rea£:aixrip- 

tion of the states' sovereignty. A corps of rnilitia 

was unanir.oiisly voted and cre^:aration nade to arm and 
equifj it. A nur::ber ci eastern anii. a fev/ western 

counties, following the e::car:;ple of Wilmington, held 

similar meetings in the last (^s-ln-; of IToveriber and in 

(1) Cf. State Journals Siov. ^o , 1 60, Dec. y loou , Lee. 
12, 130 C , e_t seq. 

(2) The TTJiigs held that the relation of 17.71. Holden 

to the raiiical Demccrats illixstrated the proBcriptive , 
intolerant, and aristocratic character of that j:-aTtj-; 
that the editor aspirei to an office of distinction in 
the party and the party manifested it^' ' 'by 

requesting him to leave it; the c : honors 

in the party which he had ]one more than any other man, 
or ten men, to build u- eni r.aire powerful, were r t 
for a mechanic. Payetteville Cbsez'ver, Dec. 5, 11, l. 
This was in reference to i:r. Holden 's hTomble origin rind 
hi.v amDition I'or the rovernorship in "^ ' ' anil senator- 
shii ir.i. ediately after.vards. 

(3) ^Vilmington I'aily Journal, Nov. 2C , 1 . 

(4) State Jour. E::tra, Dec. 19, lobG, is given over «-»i- 
tirely to re:)ortj o_ theL,e disunion nieetings. The 
lour western countiec. which held meetings of this type 

thuK early were iV.echlenburg, Gaston, Lincoln and Row- 
cin, all cotton counties. 

Deceiiber. The I'.iKur.ion ^ .'.r^',- lr,';.clcr:: Ir ^hrr:e reot- 
iKCS clair:;e(t f^ciiertLllv liiat )'.x . I3reGi:iiii'i(i£"c liuu been 
the disunion candidate an:! tliat neceanion was contin- 

n.r.t r. i on hls dnfeat. T^,*^ non"n"i"'r.'':i-'''r. ^ p.T.oc-rr "zr , -.vho 

v;itii uiic 'Vhi£-K ".vere bccii^'iir^ t- ca:.i(,(v fionE':ii.ut;ioH- 

al unionists, declarrd that no cuch thing \.cr- 

ctcO'-^. ; th:it i:*' ^'.r. Brcclrirri'^rr --ar the rtir'ir.lcT can- 

..iL-a:.e, -ujien a^. least iuriiy- 'Jiio"Ui;an i. votert in the 

state had been .leceived; and further, that if ''.r. 

;',r.-.n1:inridre ' s uttered views nad a^, roached in rad- 

ic...^ic;.> 'zhQ'cc contained in Governor ElliB' 

message tlien he would have received m Korth Carolina 

not even the united s-uv-ort of the ■■resent fire-eaters 


Though the otate gavo ..r. Sreckinriuge an absolute 

inajority of her votes, the fact that nov/ a very large 
ceotion of t]:e Denocrats rho vcteci rcr hir; -.-.'err con- 
stitutional unionists, suiiiciently refutea tne argu- 
Eient that he had been accei:ted by the party as the die 
union candidate. Since the V.liigs were a unit in 
their opposition to secession the radical Democrats, 
in the last rconths of 1860 v/ere a small thourh a very 
active rincrity. The r'-.dlnn.T Ipndf!-^:- ~:pr(^. f-'ornngh 
ly agfrescive an. actov. alon^. lino Initely i.^apred 
out. liiOEias I. Clingr::an had announced on the floor 
of the United states senate that s:r,r,th rn^rt rot 

11) Standard, Dec. 5, 1860. 


wait I'or overt iiotr u'^cn ' "■'' ' ii<: ne"' --■'"•■-' r~ ~- 

tration. Governor 'illlia wan tho cxr^onert o:" this 

vier; in I'orth Carolira i^t^.tr ^olitics, though he had 
not icund uHo ' ;! .'iiL lc-it;;latnre to his liking. 
Yet it was easily discernible that external events v/oul 
"be the allies of the ra-Ucals. That South Carolina 
v/oul.i .'ieoecie beiure 'ji:l: Gnu uj. ixie ye^^r .ci^- generally 
understood. Her i Convention had heer. called to meet 
on Doc. 17; "both her senators had resigned in Kovenfeer; 
•a.11 • hex federal district court had oeaseii itf? functions 
Cjcverncr uist forv7ar(;ed to iTOvernor Kills the resolu- 
tion of his legislature settinr; aside the twenty-first 

of December as a day of fasting an'i r.rayer, and invited 

Jiorth Carolina to similar action. The radical^.- 
as.erted that .■Recession v/as only ft- rattir of time and 
that the present oprortnnit- -"' - -"•" he lost. 

The unionists ?.-ere not inactive, thoufh they ■ 
had a lesf; clearly defined xoliC3'- than the radicals. 
A constitutional union r.eeting wit. .leld in Haleirh ^""ov- 
er.her SC, and was largely attended hy old line V.liigs, 
by Znow-JSiothing-s en' by conservative Deniocrats. Tf. U. 
Holtien presentiiu ^n^j j.\.solution uc_^.reGating disunion, 
and Zebulcn B. Vance nade the chief address. Ad- 

(1) Congaressicnal 'alobe, 2nd sess., Sotl: Congress 4. 

(2) Ellis, :.:3. letter iiook, 279. 

(3) '.Vilii.ingt.-n L'aily Journal, Dec. 5, 1 ut. 

(1) 15 

i;iittin». -...ri J. -^ . - >.. . ..'Cession, Mr. Vance ureed the 

i:'r;oti..ibility of goo.i reuniting fror; it ana muistecl 

!--tronc ^^T;and •.vimun i;he union. lie "oelievecl 
tha^: -;;■ o"bnoxious personal lil}er^y ls.v/s of the north- 
ern states ■.voul.l be repealed if southern legislatures 

eni^cted retaliatory measures tonchinc their rrade V7it}i 
::outh. County Union nee tin£'S v.'cre helu throu£:h- 

out the state during Decenher.all e::pressinf a Aoter- 

nination to in the Union. 

scuthern DeiiatorE. ^-c^entutivi r issued rr'T': Vash- 

inrton an address to thoir constituents in v/hich they 
e^^^^.- V.V. "'-'' ■'"■''- ^^- •'■" ■'■^■11'-"' in the 

Union, throui-j; con:, ittees , congreGsional le{;,islation, 
or constitutional ; ; v/as extinguished and de- 

nlri-nc'_ thr.t t>r. ■.7Pllfare of the southern people re- 
i^^_ '-:.-„ wrt,v_i-i^at;ion of a southern confederacy, a 
result to be attained only through separate secession 
of the states. T:ic representatives rroM i«iorth Car- 
oline signeu ^::e acaress. Purton Craige of the 7th and 
2ho.ias^Huffin^of the 2nd congressional districts. 

't/is S?e'"" '^^^j^'^'^t^ .ro.:xnen;r;t"~ 
al neans%. ,,■ - - '1e 'ress'^;^^ '? ^' '' constitution- 

(2) Halcigh .register ^tc t i ip^r^^^^l* 
of 7ancp^s soeoch! ' ' ' ^^'' ^^^ ^ ^'^^^ re:ort 

It was nn •'■IT-*' - ■ ' 'f"': yonator Ulirip-ari ■'^"■' rej.^ ..':a- 

-!-•,•-,« "Yinslov; ..ore ttLso in siccord v/ith tlie vlev/s of the 
adilress frorr. V.'ashinrton. 

^ '■■'>■'- on- 

co''iii' , ye'; it i -•rt^ait ■- lov/er 

^outiiea !:cs tu uscertair ■. loir 

r.oi-t'iorr. nc ' .'-s tov/aru .~Gno:^:-,lon. Af.rioriVi rig'ly , 

delegations .vere cent to tjio uoruor ott^tes. 
ITortji Carolina, on Dace, ber 16, received tv/o cor,->; iczaioH 
ers from Alabama, the object of whose mission, as com- 
municated bj Ciovernor iillis to the lieneral Asser.bly, 

T7as an interchange of opinions on federal relations. 

A more important com.'.TisRioner was Jacob Thorroson, 

sent by I.lississipoi.. Though ntill a menber of 

President Buchanan's cabinet, ::r. Thomr^son cane to 

i^ort" w 'T lina V7ith the avor/ed object of URing his in- 

riuence toward inducing the state to secede, a 

nission for ".vhicn he vas supposed to be tne better 

fitted because he was a native and former rr^iisnt of 

the ctate and had ran:/ -.ersonal friends aKon^; the 

leaders. Hi:: letter of credence expressed the -hof-o 

of Llississicpi that Rorth Carolina v;oul:. cooperate 

-.vith her m tn. tion of official inoa;:.ure3 lor the 

comruon defense and safety of the South. There 

(1) iJtandarf; Dec. 1S60. 

(2) Ellis, Letter Book, 2y4. 

15) v/ritinga anu dpeecnes of the Hon. T. 1. Cli 
526. ^lingman states that Secretary Thompson t.. 
in the aid^le ^f Decenber that the object of hi;. 

visit '.vas to iniuce Korth Carolina to secede. Cf. 
von hoist. Constitutional History of tlie United 3tat< 
lB5y-ltj61, i5o7. ( ovey note 4) 

Eastern nlaveholders . its econoruc crg-anixation 


tary ThOM;:.son nust have gathered aufl'lcient inlwr- 
r-^ati'jn to cinvir.oe hif; that the state Wi-nilcl maT-re no 

;:.uve iualoij:j her ;,jLiil,_uiL in tjie Union becarne \m- 


Viliej- S(jiit]i Ci.rolina Keoedecl, Beceiaber 2C , the 
excitenent attending the first break of the Union was 
naturally conr.unicate I to her northern neirhbor. In 

17ilniington one himdred guns v/ere fireu in honor of 

the event. Wilri-.ington was the c'nief to-?- • " 'he 


and georra hical Pituat' ' ilce al'^ied it in inter- 

ests a. '-''^'^ "'i' -^"^ ':■'•>-' cotton stf!^-' . As the 

largest to-i7n cottor: ort of Eorth Carolina 

it v;a;- h Oharlcrton. .jiah, 

- . !.'i.i c- , ^i.'.. j..^M ^ix^^.-iio t-if. J. u X.L •_■>_..• > ^v .^j...iilcir j^ublic 

sentiment. Cnlj in 'iVilrnington v/as viiore any note- 

v/orthy aer-onstration or joy at South Carolina'^ 
b-ction. The unionists and conservatives, a large 

Majority at; this date, greeted as a sad event, i^reg- 

nar.t -.71 * 7 evils and blasting i.nanv fair hoces of 

greatnes:; u;i . glory in the v/estern world. As yet 

Eorth Gttrolina stool to the bond she had con- 
tracted in 17''9. Mr. Holden's often reiterated plea: 
" xe . u.. ^re^uxe -^r uny event, ouz v/atch an.i wait", 

( JSoto fj r^e 15) State Journal, .^ec. 26. 1360, 

has a C'-,.^- j_ "hie letter. 
(1) Fayetteville Cbserver, Dec. ?A , inGC. 


nccuratel" .-.--r----,^- ' ' •■ 'nr.r^e 

c rats who, "belie-'i^g ' r. ':".o rj r).': o'' .ecor-ion, !.'it 
looJcir. :'-s a last rec otirre, firmly hcl'l the 

boio.-r>.-- .-^ ■•• -v v i-rv *:>• n.'i 1 1 nn.-^l 1 Rl;." nr.-'. the 

ra'iicais . 

South uarolina's withdra-^val the Union in- 
ci'eaGn'i. rhn vn "^or ci' znc dfinr.nds on tlie part of the 
radicals I'or a state convention to e::^:re£S the v;ill 
of the state unier the new aspect of affairs. Se- 
cession, thej argued., T;ar> now an ncconrolished fact 

anil Worth Carolina 77as forced to ito a:v:roval or 
disapproval. They hoped for ap roval. The 
opponents of tnc convention nr£-ed that it .vould "be 
the first step tovzard disunion an^i that it v.'ould 

afford demagogues an on^ortunity unduly to excite and 

(2) t::e ninds of the people. Tho r'^dicals, 

constantly Tinder the necessity of refuting the charge 

of being designing politicians, urged that a con- 
vention "vas hut the ordinary rirht of frnnmen. A 
niu.Dcr of conservative lea>.£rs nov; cane to sup ort 
the proposition for a convention. ' 71. "I. Holden had 
never directly op osed this feature of the governor's 

(1) Ihe ter:.i"na-cionalist " is here used to des- 
ignate ^hose -.7i:o held the national theory of the con- 
stitution, iz. general they v/ere the old line Whigs 
tnougntt an increasing nuriuer of this mrty cane to * 
su^.ort secession as the crisis a. coached e . g. 
'^. a. Vance and his followers. " • - ii • 
12; Kaleign Kegi:-;ter, Jan. 2, 1C61. 
(o) State Journal, Jan. 8, luol. 

policy. Mr. Vance, 'I'hif: reareser.T;aT;ivo m Uong;rea3 

from tii.. i-.v.cii^j -Lii . X.. v.- ii; . , wrote to a rnenber ol' the 
General Assembly January y, 15)61, ndvining- a con- 
vention. " I do nol reg:ard'', ho said, " the call of 
a convention a; -• <-•^T,■,-, ..r> .. ,Tirr>..r.Tf ^ i.nt- o- ' nnr\- 

ducting nteel to the lif litriing-freighteo clouo. 
Firm, temperate ^nnd decided aotion : the 

ri'-'M:;' nV t't '-.}\e Union as v/ell . TTon- 

c^ction v;il.L v, Uo into disunion. A con- 
vention, wliile cienanding terms of xtie norrnern people, 
can also jp.alce our voices heard arnong the 3out};ern 

states whose course is rabidly inoculating the rjeo- 

pie vritn aop-nas which we cannot approve . " Llean- 

v;hile, the rneinhers of the General Asser.bly reascem- 
bled January 7, arter t;wo v/eeK's stay among their con- 
stituents. It was iJm..ediately apparent that their 

conservatism had unclergonc no dir/iinuticn, but that 

they had become iru'.ressed with the fact ...o-i-y besides 

(2) A 
the radicals wished a convention. 

The convention bill, authorizing the elect- 
ion of one hundred ?""■ ;- ..-yf-' lelegate!" '"■^ th^' ''"•sis 
of federal population m tne counties, od both 

houses January 24. 

(1) Letter of i: . i'. vance to G. IK Folk, Raleigh Reg- 
ister, Jan. 16, l.^ul. 

(2) ProGeedin^-3 of the Legislature, Speeches, 
JKaleigh Register, Jan. 16 and 23, 1^61. 

(5) Senate Journal, 1360-1661, 206. House Jour- 
nal, lu6C-1661, i5Y4. The vone m tne senate 7 
for and 9 against the bill; in the house, 66 f^-x c^i.d 

^7 ap-ainst. 


►-< w 

It 'Irccuc '. *"Mvt tne voter" •'•t th.e ^ar'^e election 
ui; m.a c:-:_-rc£jo -^iC-r ,/^..:.u^ I'-i' -jr u^:uinst t}".(; c ..m- 
vei-.tion. If a najorit^ shoniri vote lor a con- 
ver.tior:, then the governor v n fiirected to assen'l:)le 

tnc .depute:: '"' 'uclanation; i'" '■ ' '"rity should 
vote arainst it, then the 'leleratnr; chosen should 
not he assoT'bled. The date of the election r;as to 
be nxec; 137 the rovernor as alrjo the :"iate of the con- 
vention in case a convention r;ere called. Feh- 
ruarj'' 2^J -ivan choeeil hy -rr.or for the election. 
Kortii Carolina now beca'^- • -'-liticai ^orj-e. It 
v/as diiricnlt to deterrinc what would he 7/rought there 

An event v;hich had a perceptible effect in 
hastening the convention bill v/as the seizure of the 
Uiiiteu otates i'orts, Caswell ana Johnson. ilarly in 
January a report spread at the South that the ad- 
min' stration at Washington purpose^ to garrison all 

southern forts; that troot)S v/ere already on the v^ay 
thitner. Forts uaswell ana Johnson comr.-.anded the 

nouth of the Gape Fear River belov; 77ilnington. 
Consequently, great er.citenent was produced in that 
tov/n at the supposed purpose of the government. on 

the btn or January a number of citizens, with a por- 
tion of the local militia acting v.'ithout orders, pro-" 

(1) Wilmington ^ ■ -^ - Journal, 3an. 5, 1' 61. This 
re; ort see.':» t ha.l its origin in Georgia, based 
on an alarmist telegram pent by Senator Toombs from 
Washington. See -^--'••^- -- , ""--*■- "~ " ■•■- 'r. Geor.-ia, 
2C1. The rerort :: of forts 

on their coas V by j.ii ie January 

oeeded dovm the river anA dispossessed the small 

garrison in Fort Uaavreli, uaMtain Thurston of the 

nilitia taking corn and. Fort Johnson cr.ntamea no 
garrison. Two days later Governor Ellis directed 

the Third brigade cornr;an(ier to require Thurston to 

withdrav/ the state troops. This v/as done on the 

i;itn. Governor Jilllis then wrote iru ediatel^ to 

"Preseident Buchanan stating tnp r-^^vo m- t-hr. myt- 

break and requesting a pledge that the i'orts siioui 
not be garrisoned during the prenent administration. 
He i7T^nrr-ni^. thr ■- r f^ p. 4 T. n r. t T:hH.t '•h.i- ■P7:h.M,? T'lnr' —r.s 

stil^ excited an.L ii' auch as^urancG;: v/cre not fur- 
nished him he would not answer for the conseruences • 


"It. Holt, Secretar-'- of ',7ar, ad interim , re-iied to 

Governor i;;lliii c.c;.uring him that it v/as not t;ic I'ur- 

pose 01 tilt! ttuiuinistration to garrison tne forts at 

present; that tnc president trustee tneir safety to 

the law-abiding sentin.ents of tne citizens of ^orth 

uaroima. The governor at tne request of the House 

of Uo/ru.ons laid tne correspondence beiore tne Assem- 
bly on the 17th, anc" the incident was closed. The 

state felt assured that the Buchanan administration 

would m.a!-re no hostile m.ove. Fort r'.acon in Beaufort 

(IJ For an accoiinl; of the seizures of the forts see 
VVilr.irif;- ten Daily Journal, Jan. 9, ISGl. 

(2) Ellis l.:3. Letter iJook, i>iiy. 

(3) ibid, i5;5t». 

(4) Ibid, 5E6. 


harbor and IJie redurn' -r-^-- 1 r.t y.i-'-ntunvi.l ' c ro- 
rnaincd undisturbed until :".r. Lincoln's call i'or 

troops in April. 

Though nothinr' ''■n *:'''n r.nir.^irc: o-" the fnrtn 
could Ise turned to account by eitner -^arty in the 

convention carrraifn, the convention's supporters -.vere 

grcatl^r innrf:ar.n>1 anr. strengthened b;/ tnc -rorrens of 

evntvj in vi;c cotton states and by the action o.i come 

or the northern -Estates. Mississippi had seceded on 
tiie ytii 01 January; Florida on the 10th; Alabama on 

the 11th; tieorgia on the lyth; Louisiana on the 36th; 
and Texas on tne 1st or Jj'ebruary. Hev/ York and 
Ohio passed resolutions vmich dei'ined the attitude of 
South Carolina as "treasonable" and "insurgent" and 
(ifrrered troops to the President Tor the purpose of 
her coercion. These resolutious, v/ith re^uost;; to 
lay before the leiiislatures, -.-/ere transmitted to the 

e:iecutives of tlie other states. Reaching Horth 

Carolina during the convention campaign they served 

no purpose other than to irritate. Tilth a short and 

caustic comr.-:ent. Governor Ellis laid them before the • 


General Asnenbly. 

I'll ojiu ca.'uj-^vign for the convention the seces: - 
ionists first used the term, " state rights," to des- 
ignate their party, r.uintaining thiit the rights and 
(1) Ellis IIU. Letter Book, o51, 355. 

oqutility oT the atatcs v/aa the en.i to v/liicli Leceas- 

i, ]\lj the Means. Those r/jio opi.oeed 

i^wcesoiuii, Tvhether nationalicta ^j. vjunaervative DeM- 

ocrats, wore calle.l Unioniota throughout the canvass, 
'.vithout distinction of former partj affiliation. 

Botli parties were active in retting: candi- 
dates in the field, and these nn'ie the canvass as 
unionists or disunionists. The interest of the peo- 
ple ".vap. thorduchly aroused. After the Assenhly had 
authorized the convention the unionists leaders v/ho 
had opposed the nover.ent, together v;ith those r/ho fav- 
ored it, directed their effortr, tov/ard securing con- 
trol of itc :.ction by the election of a majority of 
the delegates. Aniong- thone 7/ho became candi^ft-'js 

v;ere T'.esfjrs. Holden and IBadn^er, for the county of Wake 
12) (3) 

In a Joint diacussion '.vitli his £;tate righto o^oo- 

. nent February 14, Ilr. Holden denied the right o_' a 
state to secede from tjie Union; favored the Crit- 
tenden Coaioromise , and asserted that it was tlie duty 
of the federal governraent to reinforce and defend 
Fort Sumter, and that purpose should not be resisted. 
Thiii speech mar]:ed for Mr. Holden a position more 

(1) State Jo .rual.if'ebruary l.'i, l.oC. 

(2) On the federal basis of population Wake county, 
containing Raleigh, was entitled to three representa- 
tives. Quentin Busbee 7/as the third unionist candi- 

(3) State Journal, Feb. 2C, 1861, has a full report 
of Ilr. Holden's speech, V7ih severe criticisms. 

extreme than that ta::en by any .irominent uuiiuniHt, 

v/hether old line Tnig or conijervative Deiaocrat. All 
the nationaliats of Vm i:ni.on -arty were in agree- 
ment '.vif.i hill! on tlie jL^oijit; oi t:ie unconstitutionality 
of secession, but probably none vzoulcl have su^bnitted 
to the passage of troo:'S across the state. Certain- 
ly no leader so ex^Dres .ed . Their concep- 
tion of the governi.ient would have reached its natural 

objective, revolution, bo-^r.rc r.uffering such a dis- 
regard of the 7/ill of the 'j,Ziite. 

The people, fully instructed hy presr., pul- 
pit, and politioisnn 1, proceeded to election on the 
:30th of February. '.Then the rer.nlz .va;; known the 

acaders net a surprise. The convention had "been de- 
featnd h-f a sr.all n.^.iorit:/, ■:/:'iile ei<-ht7-fave union 


The surprise lay in the defeat of the convention. 

(1) i:;llis ::3. Letter iiook, c>92, Official note, Feb. 
2-, IGGl, Ho convention- 4G,605 
convention- 4o,408 

iiajority against convention 194 
Davie county was throv/n out on account of some irreg- 
ularity in the returns. Witli this vote counted as 
returned the majority against the convention ".vas 651. 
(2) This ./as the division made by the Raleigh Reg- 
ister, unionist. The T/ilraington Daily Journal, 
Liarch 15, 1861, Taking account of differences on the 
theory of the Constitution, gave the federates as 
follows: Sout'nern Rights, 46, conditional suhnission- 
ists -.2, subraiSBionists 52. 

All the union leaders had Gonf:ented to the convention 

r.fter ^'i.^: i^t- sage of -h^ r!;;rivr^7^i on ■hill , ny of 

them vcre cun'lidato^. All ';..<. --.xohvin'^i.t union ne'.78 

papers, v/ith one e::oeytion, fnvorcd the convGntion. 

Yet_the "neo]~lc, riintrurtinr i 1;:^: -orriiiln int-i-n, "hn .' 

i-efuGed it^ ciiTl. They mi. uonc ■;,iis, too, though 

every state south of Uorth Carolina's "border v/as out 

of the Union j:.n 1 r, mother of tho 3outh-_rr. Coin-^--'''.r-T':cy. 
The L; ri£-j:t.. par"jy accepre- v.-i-c.: ill ^race 
the res;ilts of this contest. The charge v/as freely 

made that foul :^la7r had been used by the xmionists; 

that the oil rLno-.v-iiOuaing party lines had been drawn . 

in secret and t}ie convention, regarded as a Democrat- 
t^Lc^^ (2) 

ic r.easure , slyly Irilled. Tliis was mainly party 


chagrin. Tlie real cause of t]:e .lefeat of the con- 
vention lay in the fear of the peojjle as to what it 
might do. There had 'x:iQQrv no lac]-: of definiteness as 
to the intention of the state rights party in the. 
event that it elected a majority of the delegates 

and the proj-osition for a n-T.vor.t-" on r/a^ carried. 

Its candidates and loresa rei.eaoodly that the 

issue at the polls was union or disimion. Though 

a large niajority o :" the peo_-le had truf:ted to the 

(1) The Greensboro -ratriot always op.osed thi 
vent ion. 

(2) Stats Journal,, r.arch 13, 1861. 

Ci) v.'ili aily Journal, files for ., ~ 

State Jo....,.--., ■n.--. •■■r- ■ Keb. 1.'^ . to f^. . 

election of mn' ' fulfiHrnent 

1 . yet '" jorit-' La 

greater one n:;...-. urc '-^ .i.Terit of the convention 

itiielf. "-i^n-j ur.- | /..--ters, however, favored a 

convention to deal v;itJ: uection wliich threatened 

$hein in the Union an.' htafl so exi^recsed themselves at 

the ^T'Olls; therefore, an interpretation of the union 

sentiment at this date nust "be based on the election 

of the eighty- five union as against the thirty- five 

disunion lelegatcs" rather on the snail majority 

against the convention. 

Ira^.X'diately after the election an incident 
occurred in Raleigh, growing out of the election re- 
sults, v/jiich, tliough ;vithin itsel:" of minor signifi- 
cance, caused an acrir.onious discussion bet'.veen the 
union and state rights newspapers anl left men's 
minds in a heated and irritated condition. The 
unionists in Take county elected thei?' car. j. i>is, Sadger, Susbee, and Holden by l::.rge majorities. 
To celebrate their local and state victory :, large 
and enthusiastic torch-light -procession was held in 
the capit/*l. Thia procession in passing the gover- 
nor's mansion halted ana gave vent to groans, presujna- 

ll) iiedfora ^rown testified before ti:e Keconstruct- 

ion Joint c;om,.dttee of Congress, Li&r. 2«, IbGo, that 
the vote for union candi .iites m this election was in 
the ratio of ;:; ■uo i Hg<ij.iirio «.x.i.ui i.o;i, -te'jort of Com- 
mittees, 1st Sossion S9th Cong. vol. 11,*262. 

■o±y in ..Ljc^^jprobii-fcion' of the [-ovornor'a radical activ- 
ity in the cause of secession. The state rij^htr-; par- 
ty organ maf;:nifiecl tho inoident into a nerious indig- 
nity • ut u-,on Governor :-illi« beciiune of hi.s richt- 

eous effort in "behalf of the 3o;ithern caune. A 

fer.v fights between citizens '.vho held different polit- 
ical views increaacd the teuBion botv/een the parties 
and led the editor of the 3tate Journal to dub the 

nonth succeeding the election, »- — - "The Seign of 
Terror". There i:: no evidence, however, that the 

:";er.onstration in front of the governor's residence 
was a studied indignity. It seeTn3 to have been the 

innulse of a nonent arousnd by thoughtless sugges- 
tion. As to the month suGceedingi- t/io so-called 
"Heign of Terr jr"^ it vian indicative of the tor.^.cr of 
the unionists not to yiell c^nything of their moral 
and material victory over the disunionists. 

iVhile the canvass for the convention for 
the convention was in progress in ]?orth Carolina the 
feace Conference met in 'Vashington to seel: a metliod 
of averting the danger that threatened the country. 
Organisation //as effected February 4, by the choice 
of John Tyler of Virginia as president. ITorth Car- 
olina's (General Assembly had appointed, Jp.nuarT- R9, 
two coK'lssions , one of five members to tec r-cuce Con- 

(1) State Journal, lii-rch 1.", Ist^l. 

(2) Ibid, April 3, 1961. 

fcrence, nnothor of threo nerhers to the Southern 

Uonvention at ;.ont6-oucry .v.iicj: uL.o ^et on l.'olDruaiy 
4, and a few days later :" the provisional -ov- 

crmnent of the eeceded t^tfxtea. The resolutions of 
uirpointrnent 7;ere i>:entical in lanruajre -"^'^ ^^^- ->•- 
ception of the of comriiBRionors an-l oonferences. 
±!oth declared the object of the coinr'iSRion to he 
"the effecting iu; honorable and ar.icahle ri.viii .':-,e--t 
of all the difficulties that disturbed the country, 
u:on the "basis of the Crittenden resolutions, as 
r-odified by the Legislature of Virginia". 

The com .isoion to the Peace Conference v/as 
ccr.-csed of three Democrats and two V.liigs. The 
lat'jer vrerej^ i^c-Chief Justice Thomas Ruffin and Ex- 
Governor James LI. l-iorehead. Cf the three Derajcrats 
only Kx- Governor Raid v/aa prujaixient in atcite :ju1- 
itics. The t.vo .uil^^ jienbers entered the confer- 
ence with a strong desire for haruony and for an ad- 
justment rrhereby the Union might be saved, and for 
this end were pre.-ared to compromise. 

Seven articles ,vere finally adopted ''■•' ■ "■^'- 
jority of the tv;enty-one states represented in tV.o 
conference. These -^ere to be ^resented to uongress 
with the hope of their ;.u..oj.oc. .>--.o ,..- .ubr-'^'^-ir-r, ,. 
subnission to • ■:ate3 for theii' ratification as 

..„.,.. ents to the constitution. Only two of the 

(2) Carolina -.Tatchman. M^rch 9. 1::G1, ^^^]}^ ^^ 

the s,-eeches of Messrs. Ruffin and Morenead before 
the conference. 


articles satisfied the J)enooratic majority of '.he 

liorth Carolina coi.'ii lission an;l reGeive;l the vote of 
the stute. These v/ere the third and the fourth. 
The "uhiru denied the right of uoncreDS to interfere 
:7ith slavery whore it already existed, or in the ter- 
ritories v/here it .7as recocni."ed, and prohibited for- 
ever tlie foreign slave trade an' ■^■^'~ '->>,-. r-^;-. '--r-.-'e 
in the .district of uoluiibia. Tjie lourtji iianctioned 
the fugitive slave lar; and provided Tarment hy the 
federal government in cases ?/herdsl'ives '/ere rescued 

by r.obs from the custody of federal marshals. 
Since the peoplekn a state convention v/ould pass fin- 
ally upon tnern, r.essrs. Kuffin and i:orehead v/ished 
, to give the vote of the state to the articles as a 
T/hole; but the Democratic majority, considering the 

five articles a surrender of soutiiern rights, refused 
The Democratic members of the commission had never 

been sanguine of any goad resulting from the Sonfer- 

During his^.e in Tashington, T:r. Rjid, 
vvas named by his native county, Rockingham, as one 
of its candidates for the proposed state convention. 

His letter of acceptance was used for cam'oaign nur- 

poses oy the state rights party. It expressed a 

laclc of confidence in any satisfactory results 

(1) Ellis :;3. Letter Book, 384,335, reports of the 
Com ission to the governor. 

(2) Uoci-iissioner Reiu to his constituents, 7il- 
mington Dail Journal, Feb. 20, 1261. 

isauiiic -'■^■- -"•'' 'inference of ?/hioh he was a nien1:)er 

iiiad enphasi::ed the futilit./ of its efforts. Ad- 
mitting that a conservative elenent existed at t}ie 
Kocth he pointer! om"- \"-- '■ ^ ^- ■■ ■ ''^^ -'^'-y, to control 
the actions of the rn^'-icHl cidruinia :.ra!:ion about to 
bo inaugurated; and therefore, thai interentB and 

deotin;/ of liorth Carolina la:/ with the seceded 
states. Senator;- Clingnan and ilragg also wrote on 

February 18, that nothing; favorable was to be expect- 
ed from the Peace Conference. !'r. ClinF:man warned 
the people that it was the determination of the Re- 
publican party to subjugate the South, and , finally, 
to ab lish slavery in tiie states even at the risk of 
civil v/ar. He adyised resistance, holding o\xt the 
hope that, with Horth Carolina and Virginia with the 

;.eceded states, the ITort)i woula hesitate to rr.aire war. 

The Jfeace conference adjourned February 24. 

Its plan, adopted by so narrow a margin, went to Con- 
gress without a compelling moral force. The rad- 
icals of neither florth nor South were pleased. 
Llincrit^r members of delegations from many of the 

states whose votes were oa^t for \^ -rprc ■-■ '■ -r- ^ .- cr 

assailants of its provisions. The complete 

(i) Goia, issioner Keid to his constituents, 'Vil- 
mington Daily Journal, Feb. 2C, 1861. 
(2) Letters or and Uragg, State Jour. 
Feb. 2l, 1S61, yeb. 27, 1H61. 
(S) Chit': ;-:; an i Jfroceedmgs or tiie 

reacc Convu... , -.. ^ .; seg . Cf. /. F. Khodes'Hist. 

of the United ot--tes, vol. 

;^il;:ro Ji '..ic .-l:-:i .vr.ex: i\ c;:.:.e ijexor-j i;no Senate 

'larch 4,1 Uoncrossio: . ' larch :: , ) was a severe 

blew to tr.e unionists* 'Oi-si tion in Korth Carolina. 

ij'ro; . I'J Tj.'ioy nao. iex-aectec. much, an. '.vere slow to 

relinquia"'- :• lidipft. Di'm^^:"*©:! ; 

. they no",' tni'ned to Liri.Toln' --.'il 


a chart by "Evhich the borler Btaten wonll find it 

(lifficult to sail bet-.veen the northern Scylla the 

s ut' : Chu ryb d i s . 

The failure of the Peace plan was a stimulus 

to the state rifhts- party to the sarr.e decree that 

it was crushing ^•..^ the unionists. Lincoln's address 

was inter oretel as a menace ratlier than a i^ronise of 

future security. The CoioraiSBi oners to Ilontgomery, 

occupying seats on tlie floor of tJio congress, had 

(1) Sa;nuel Hall, Georgia's coi!if.:isi>ioner to i^jorth 
Carolina, reporting to the Georgia Convention on the 
results of his visit to Eortji Carolina Feb. 11, IcJul, 
stated tiaat the belie i' entertained by a large number 
of ilorth Carolina citizens that tne Peace Conference 
wjulu. be able to coi.ipose the sectional differences 
prevented the state's immediate cooperation 7;ith the 
Southern Confederacy. Jour;.al of the Georgia Gon- 
voution, 543, 

(2) James L!. llorehead wrote on Tlarch 1, that the com- 
promise wouli be effective, letter in Raleigh Regis- 
ter, March G, IcGl. Kepredentative Gili.ier informed 
hi"" constituents that Conreess would doubtless adopt 
the Peace plan. Letter of Gilmer, Standard, "arch 

". 1861. 
[o] Raleigh Register, !:arch 13, 18G1. StMn.ard, 

:.:arch 13, ISGl. 
(4) State Journal, T'arch 13, l^Gl. 

;•■ "rovi;''ior..'"il Ocvnrtv-rr.t of t' fe'l-'racy 

uiii. ... eii_-6't! . the 

qiiention, " .V,i:it x'ur or ':he unioniats' 

shibboleth ' 'vntoh /ait' ? " ofton re'^eated by 

riie uui^-ue ri^^wu- _.ari^/, v;ut; ;.'.;:, ;.;ered v/ith increas- 
ing difficulty. 

The '.■/ilninrton Dail- .;ournnl of Tlarcii 4, 
buggeo uG'.i. .'. nliLf. of action ,viiij:i ijeo:-..'..e at once the 

policy of the state rights party. This plan con- 
ter;r-!latecl another state convention. For it?; call 
■^i: e:-:tra 3es3ion of the Asse^nbly v/ould be nocec;;:ary. 
The governor, though v/ell known to bo favorable, wtis 
net likely to call the Asserbly together for this pur- 
po.e ■-:>.' aoon af-^-"- '-.'le late defeat unless there vras 
a strong i.''cr'infl for such action. The Journal's plan 
was to give tliis der.and an effective form. Delege'tes 
who had been elected to the defeated convention '.vere 
invited to r.eet as an advisory body of citizens, 
which, if not a legally organized asoeinbly //ould at 
least be .composed of gentlemen legally chosen, 

(1) The '.Vilr.;ingt-jn iJaily Journal of Liarch 11, 1S61, 
said: " Let Eorth Carolina not r/ait irresolute until 
It ir said she had to be kiclred out ( of the \Jv.5 '^z\ 
as has been sometimes sneeringly said of her. It 
toolc fr.vo trials to get her into the Union, and much 
talking and ex^.-lanation. Thiiv shows tl'ia*; no action 
taken in changing tinies can possibly be regarded as 
^uncjiangeable. It may take two trials to get her 
Cnto t;:e oouth.rn Union. What then? Shall we not 
make themY" 

whose vie.vs '.vould nc , "both 

77-: thin and without M'= f'T-'-^fi. "ho ?,t ■-.--■.ni-l 

1 r 

e ::el- 

efrtites - ■c. 'iolrlsboro was Eug- 

r ,-> r-i -^ f > ■"! :r-, ril 4 in- 

..-c:. .: zi'.o ■:u''.e. 'iho _:lan rcceiV'ju : uo;i iie^rt7 
o:: : . i-i rty that the early 

.'".arch 22 -.vas fi::ecl inon. The course of nationa7L 

a..xair.: still luroiier xe„o lorce un.. w-ativiny i.^ tine 
stute rights party, for besides the failure of the 
Peace _;:rocoGition and the fact tliat Lincoln' s"ad.lress" 
furnished no tangible guarantees for peace and se- 
curity, David V/ilmot was entering the United States 
Senate, and the strongest places in the "resident's 
cabinet na;^ oeen filled by 3ev/ard ana Chase. And 
these tliree men vrere loolced upon as life-long ener.ies 
to Southern rights. 

The proj-osal for the Grol..iSboro Convention con- 
tained an invitation to all lelegates of both parties 
l7ho ha;" been elected I^'cbrur-r^ 2". As hnp^ boon seen, 
;.iOre tlian t.'^o-tiiiruc c- .eleg^tes v/ re unionists 
T^ey refused to countenance the Goldsboro noeting. It 
was lenounced by tho unlor^ist -rress as illegal and 
revulutionary . ,.x"i;ji only zno ^ece^wion ..elegaiios 

il) Kaleigh 7/a3 logically the pl.^ce for the r.eeting, 
but .vas uni tinent, while Goldsboro was 

atrongly kc _ ._ ._ _ . . 
(2) Fayetteville Cb::erver, ::arch 13, 1B61. 

renalninfT, the conven'rlon .vaR l;urned into u maa:; iioct- 

V. cennior.i^'t . .vit]: the r;cGer:::ion ilelerntcr.; 

uj u i:uoj.guo w- c±vc i'; vj:g charCiOter uf u. conventior. . 

About tv;enty-five coxintie;-; v/ere r. / '.urine 

]the t7:o iar:: r:er:r;icr. "I^ioh of tr.nre as nari'r dc^ 

e{:ui;e3 a^ there -.vero ■jomoT.z "'il.lin^- . 3one 

near-by counties '.vere represented by several hnnilred; 

some bj fifties, anl &bout half by fron one to three 

'.Telegates . "ost of the tv/enty-five countie?: ".'ere 

Midiile state anrl eantern, the territory re'iresented 

coincidinfr rou^-hly 77ith the ?3lave-ho7_ .irca of the 

3tc..ct_. "r-::- '\owan county :-{eprcsentative Uraigre 

brought tne delegation. Holding strong state rights 

tie-^s, an i a close personal friend of Governor Ellis, 

Vr. Craige's attendance at Goldsboro gave the conven- 

lii. official recognition ani endorsement. The 

body organized Llarch 22, by the choice of Teldon IT. 

Sd-.vards as The first oeriod of the session 

y/as given over to a speech fron Franklin J. Hoses, 

11) In V/ilir.ington a nujnber of new delegates v/ere elect- 
id riarch 2C. The proceedingt; were less regular in 
other ulaces. '.Vilraington 'Jaily Journal, TIarch 20, 


(2) The atate Journal, .'"arch 27, 1861, contains a 
list of the delegations am: a fiiil re. or"" -" the pro- 
ceedings of thi" convention. 

(3) r.oses' sneech is published in the 'Tilmington 
Daily Jo--'- ' rch 25, -■ ---. -- - - -. —•-..-- 

.iron a ■ i stance, 
ive an I 'ie:n!ft;^ogicc^l . ne an-i- niP 
" fellO'.Y clzlzer" ", '■'--■- thi^i j. '. . vras nu 

vertance, a^ t.'.' -. be in thn 3^. 


.oner -^t'r. Ciirolina. llr. Hoses refer/— 

\ to the n;-tura.l affinity betweeia ITorth Carolina and 
tjiG ;;eceiica g-juuCs a;... rerimaed his hearers of t:he 
iifficulties wmch tnen beset them in the ol'l Union 
-nd which he averred v^onld grow constantlj -.vorse; that 

r.ecuritT, ^:,--ce, tin i fraternal feeling a^vaited them 
in tne arms of the Southern Union. 

The important v/ori-: of tno convention '.Tan en- 
1-Ou.ic... i;- ina iavorable action on ; et of resolutions 
brought i:: on the second day by a comriittee unner r:r. 

uraige. These resolutions net forth tnat me vote 
taJcen on tne convention February 2.'j , "'•"■'• ^."" '"-^- 'o- 

liberate fiat of the people; that subsequent events 
had brought many into a readiness for reconsideration 

ui tjie state's relations to tlie Union. Therefore, 
it -.vas recommended that an organization should be lorm- 

ed ?;hose object should be the dissemination of the 
facts and the presentation of the argmnents bearing 
upon the issue to the peoole of every country, in the 

belief that when this information was in the minds of 
; the peoole they would ler.and of t]ie governor and the 

Assembly an opportunity to express their wishes at 

the ballot-box. in accor'iance rrith the resolutions, 

fr.70 m^n 7/ere a;.ointed in eumii congreasicnal district 

to make up an executive committee of the Southern' 

Rights' party for the stnte. 

( I'cr ioo'C-no'Ce see next v^^e) 

oitiiicna xroc: each county lor ..'•.i^i.itionr:. v/}iose 
ercecrtive offices shoulil corrcR;orKl v/ith tiiu sts-tc 

executive con:.ittep ••■ ' be a meuj.. ■' ;:ronoting the 
part^ princioles. A final reaoluti on declare^ that 
t}ie interest., and honor of Korth Uarolina demanded 
colitical connection witji ';he Southern Confederacy. 

In the two days' proceedings of this Uolds- 
boro convention is observable an entire absence of any 
disposition to preserve the Union. Ilo rrord indicated 
the existence in the mind of any person of a hope of 
the restoration of that amity and brotherhood which 
once existeil bet'.7een the sections. TTo form of con- 
promise likely to be reached offered security; there- 
fore, tiie party stood ready to carry into practice 
the ^,tj.rtic"alcj.ri-stic tiieory u± !•"'••-• ^ x/erui itJjit v/hic;i 
had never been dead where the state rig-hts party was 
now strongest. 77ithin a teek of the adjournrient of 
the convention the citizens of many state rightc co\in- 

ties hai organised in accordance with the recom: enda- 

In changing times a party witii a policy to 

offer securuS advantage by rea.son of its readiness and 

positive program. The unanimity of the representa- 

Kote. i'he conveati8fl adopted tne naiie , " Southern 
HightP " in lieu oi staH Rights, which had been used 
in the campaign for the convention. 
(1) Wilmington Daily Journal, "arch 3C, 1861. Eew 
Hanover formed its association Jlarch 29, lUGl. 

tives in the Goldsboro convention, thoir aggressive- 
ness, ana t]ie definitenoas of their plans, are in 

sharp contrast with the confusion that prevailed among 
the unionists. Though in a majority, the unionists 
-.vere forced into tlie attitude of merely an op-nosi- 
tion party. Only ptist blessings coul ■ "^^f' instanced 
as reasons for fidelity to the Union. This could 
not long be a very potent argument when the present 
was so threatening ar; ' ~'-\'^- '-iture unfathomable. 
The unionista unable to ofier a solution, could only 
attack the irregularity of tiie ^proceedings of the 
state rights carty. The Goldsboro convention ivas 
bitterly assailed, and Iloses was accused of trying to 

induce the leaders to Override the v/ill of the Decole. 

The disunion leader.'^ were rei^in-led that the ballot- 

huji. «Vcio the c.rbiter of all j^.olitical controversies 

in our form of government; that the decision had been 

given on February 25, and, until a new contingenc"^ 

c^rose, should be final. 

freedom of speech and toleration of o^T^OFinp- 

opinion were generally insisted upon ^.' . iiout, ..lirch 

and the first two weeks of April, though infractions 

of the rule were occasional on the part of both parties 

(1) Uarulina 7atchman, :;^rch £6, 1661. 

(2) Ibid, April 2, IGGl. 


in tlie res ective localiti.QS where they v/ere in large 
majorities. In V7ayne , a stron^' secession nonnty 

ealrer gave offense by hiB con^-ervatisn on tiie 

leading question, slavery. A conrittee of ar-<ient 

secessionists '.vaitorl ••y' nr. h-'n. r.n.l thrt^n tnrifta a coat 

of tar an;i featherr, :\:: an aid to a change o i' r.en- 

timent. In J\aleigp. on April 8, some younr nen 

"iVearinr Confodnrate C0G"'cadcs in their hats, raised 
1 small coniedcrat;c ilag on a polo in a vacant lut . 
The movenent excited the ire of many of the bystand- 
ers, and called forth a threat to cut down the pole. 
.Lhou-;n the threat .vas not executed, one bellicose 

union nan biased avray at the flag 7/ith a rusty old 

fire-lock ariid the a^ilause of the crowd. 

Kaleigh, however, stood firnly unionist, despite 

(1) Early in January, Hint on R. Helper's book, "The 
Impending Crisis," brouglit a number of abolitionists 
into trouble in Guilford, Randolph, ami neighboring 

counties where the Quakers' influence v/as very strong. 

This book was classed under "incendiary literature", 

against the circulation of v/hich a state law existed. 
(£) Standard, Llarch 20, 1861. 
(5) Kalei.:h Register, April 10, 1361. 

(4) A train bearing a large number of secession del- 
egates on their return from the Golisboro convention 

made a stop at the Raleigh depot where a large crov/d 

of citizens -.vere collected Sunday morning, I'.arch 24. 
The secessionists, fresh from the enthusiasm of their 

meeting, singing " Dixie anl other.vise giving vent to 
their feelings, were incautious enough to yell from 

tjie waiting train that Raleigh v;an " a d - d abolition 

hole ". Tne-'- . " citizens 

to alight an:l r_ . r\r . 

Promptituae was not lacking on the .1- 

egates. A free-for-^.ll-fight -.vaf; ..vcr ly by 

the ti.-.ely departure of the train. See ^ -j.rd, 

April 3, and Raleigh Register, I.arch 27, ICol, for 

accounts of tliic; incident. The Register expressed a 

fear of civil war witliin tiie state. 

The vVilmington Ivaily Journal Ilarch 27, deplor- 
ed the Union sentiment of the caoital. 

the attitude of the povornor ami his administration. 

The Southern Ri^-hts party ha^l lost no time 
in perfeCtinf its orfaiiir'cation alon^ the line:^ laid 
down at Goldaboro, and -.vas busily engaged in holding 
county neetinfrs and in sending petitions to the gov- 
ernor for .t t;arL_ u^ '.:.<^ ueneral Assembly in extra 
session. Public opinion was in a formative stage. 
Governor iillis v/as not yet prepared, h077ever, without 
f"arther developrients to disregard the people's de- 
cision. For these he had not now long to v/ait. Ex- 
ternal events were hastening rr M\ ^ would Affect Korth 
Carolina and force her to a rapid decision. 

Cn the 12th of April Fort Sumter was fired 
on by order of the Confederate Government. The next 
evening the garrison surrendered. Tincoln's call for 

troops followed on the 15th. Governor Ellis needed 
now only to direct the popular impulse. Imrediately 
upon the ref^;tion of Secretary of War Cameron's tel- 

egram on -fe io - 1 -oth ■chat two regiments of troops were 

required of Korth Carolina, the governor convened 

his CoiUiCil, an.L after a. c,jiort consultation, sent the 

folloy/ing re^ly: 

" Your dispatch is received, and, if gen- 
uine - which its extraordinary c.::iracter leads me 
to doubt, - I liave to say in reply, that I regard 

the levy of troops made by the Administration, for the 

purpCu ox subjugating the States ji -ciie oouth, as in 

violation oi the Con.^titution. j ij^'-Miion of 
power. I can "be no party to thif; -.viclced violation 
of the constitution, anl to thi:? -.var upon the lilDer- 
ties v.: roo "oeoole. You cnn got no troo';S from 

^ (i) 

north Carolina. " 

A telcTra: Governor Pickens oi" South 

Carolina aliio roaciieu uovc-riior 211is on the 15th. it 

v/as written at Charleston, and read: 

" Fort S-iirnter surrendered after our troops had 

nade terrible iiavoc upon it. Tliere ia a fleet off 

our bar v/ith several thousand troops on board. If 

they attempt a landing, v/e are prepared for then. V/e 

77ill do our duty. Fort Pickens has been reinforced. 

Will north Carolina stand this? " 

The telcpT?ns of Secrotary Caneron and Gov- 
ernor Piokejiis , do:;: rec;eiveu April 15, an,, representing 
the appeals respectively of the uorth and the South, 
left Governor Ellis ir. nc uncert?.in state of mind. 
Ln the c;a;.e day no .ircc.e-- C^.i^ain Croton to proceed 
with his company of state troops from Goldsboro to 
Beaufort and to take -cossession of the harbor and 
Fort I.acon. jx K;a.i'.ilar oruer wau givun to Colonel 
Cantv/ell in regard to Forta Casv/ell and Johnson. 
Both orders were eicecuted by the 17th. These officers 

(1) Ellis Lj. L^ .ter iiook, 39t3.- 
12) ibid. S9y. 
(S) Ibid, 4C0. 

* 41 

-.vore coin, unded to obfierve a oeaoe policy and when 

once in posnea.'^lcri of Vr.e fortn to act only on the 
defensive. lji tno I'/zh a regiriont of rnilitir. v/aa 
ordered to Fayetteville to tal:e p< Ion of the 
United Jtaten arconnl thcr. ruarde'i by - cor^any of 
(federal trao2;3. xne militia coir.r.ander. Colonel 
Cool:e, was inntructed to employ force in the event 
of a refusal by thr cori^'^r.T to nirrcnrier. Force, 
hov/ever, r.ot neceyi.ury, '^nu c jj ;.. regulars 
surrendering at discretion to the tv/o thousand troops 
denanding it. Brevet Ilajor Anderson, in coraiand of 
':he arsenal ^..i. . ..r. ^g, resigned his corc;:ission under 
the United States Goveriii.ent , leaving the conr.iand to 
lieutenant L'Lagnel who by the 27th had nade all nec- 
s'.ary _:re^;a rat ions for sending his company down t)ie 
river to V/ilmington and thence to Hew York. The in- 
habitants of Fayetteville offered every courtesy and 
facility to tlie lieutenant, anl on the 27th the com- 
pany toolc steamer without any -onpleasant incident mar- 
ring the departure. The United States mint at Char- 
lotte had been taken over on the 22nd. A military 
inspector for the state .vas a\ ointed and empowered 

(1) 37, COO muskets and rifles; a complete battery 
of cannon; a large quantity of powder, with other mil- 
itary stores •.7ere surrendered. Zee Fayetteville 
Observer, April 29, 1861. 

President Jefferson Davis gives the number of 
muskets and rifles taken at Fayet'.-eville as 27,000. 
See " The Rise and i?'all of the Uonfe.lurate Govern- 
ment," vol. 1. , 4 71. 


by the goven^or to exercise all ; ovverB neces. ary i"or 

the oiiblic defense, to extinguiah lights and to seise 

vessels belonging to the enemy. Five thousand 

volunteers toniered their services to the governor 

before the call for thirty thousand on the noth. A 
military encainonent r/aa established at Raleigh v;here 
the worlc of drilling the r.tate trooor, and the volun- 
teers 7/ent rapidly forward. Xarn"c p.ums of noney v;ere 

subscribed by 'orivate inlivirluals to asr5ist in enui"o- 

■ ' (2) ' ■ 

ping tjic troops. IToninalljr, Eorth ur^rolina -,vas to 

rer.ain a rrionth longer in the Union. In reality, she 
was out of it the rlay after hJecretary Cameron's tel- 
egram for troops v/as received. 

By proclamation on April 17 Governor Ellis 
had called the members of the General Assembly to 
meet in e::tra session the first day of }iiij . I'he 

proclamation closed v/ith the words: " United action 
in defense of the sovereignty of Horth Carolina and 
the rights of the South becomes nov/ the duty of all." 
The Virginia legislature on the same day passed its 
ordinance of secession, subject to ratification by a 
vote of the people. ( Cn the 25th it ratified the 
Constitution of the Provisional Government of the 
Confederate States of America, at the same time enter 

(1) iiJllis -.3. Letter iiook, 415. Ellis to Insoector 

(2J Kaleign Register , April 24, IGGl. 
(3) Thin,;-roclamation may be found in all the State 
papers of date. 


ing into ." n or v en tier, by '.vhir^h nil Vir'''"'.r.ln ' r "'^r-oen , 

(forts, art i::ixil;.r.y cqiix ' .vcre "l:..c-c-i v.', l;;e '/-is- 

posal of the uonfe^leratc Governr.rrt. The neceasion 

Ci. Virginia went I'ar tovmrd stillir voices in 

IJorth uarolina that seijr:,c>i yet inoline-1 ^j be raised 

for the governTfient of tae fathers. 

After tiie call of !:r. Jincoln for troops, re- 
sistance, -.v.'ie'.her i •. uu uei'i.ioa ;iecession or rebellion, 
became tlie overwhelningly prevailing sentiment in 
North Carolina. Differences on the theory of the 

Constitution -.vere for the n:oijent husiied in the tlin 
of T)re2:aration for battle. Abricigrient of party dif- 
ferences for a cornrion pTirrose, ratner tnan a surrender 
of principles on either siie, secured ujiity of action. 

j..r. (iraham admitted early in !".ay that the time v/as 

ripe for revolution. Mr. iiadger expressed similar 

vie:vs but favorect a central coniederaoy ac the object 

of revolution. Ir. Holden v;as less comr'^ittal; he 

drifted with the tide, depreoatinr nt the r;nro tune 

tne supremacy of nortiicrn .sn.. .:ou"Ujicrn extrei.iists. 

The unionist press with unnnijiiity no\i ;!;ed sep- 

(1) Stephens, " War Batv/ecn the States, " vol.11, 37S. 

(2) The Greens oro Patriot was the last reputable journal 
in the state to advocate scparatioi;. 

(5) Y/illiam A. Graha.v/s Swooch at ''illsl-'Oro, n^findard, 

May 15, 1B61. 
(4) Letter of Mr. radger, Raleigh uerister, iir>.y Iv. , I'^fil. 

. (I) 44 

ar tion to be enevitable. 

Governor Elliv net the General Assemblj "ay 

1st, "ixth an ■ ' ■" * v/ritten ner ■ --^ -=- •-^^n•^■:■ -^r. iri.-bored 

to convert those v/ho did not believe in tjie constitti- 

tional rig-ht of Gecession. He revievved the -vvhole 

theory of governnent ut3on which the uonntituticn was 


foiinded. The Southern position of state sovereign- 
ty was clearly .iefined, as set forth hy the frarnors of 
the constitutional compact. Assuming that the state 
would secede and join the Confedei'acy, he recomr.iended 
a convention of the people, as the only method hy 
which secession could constitutionally he acconjlish- 
ed. The convention, he said, should be unliraited be- 
cause of the need in strenuous times of resorting 
to a tribunal for decisions; the action of the con- 

(1) The Fayetteville Observer lost hope April 15. 
V.'itn stubbornness ana reluctance it came to sup_ ort 
a secaratist \:oliGy anu indepenlence of the state, 
free" of Ilorth" or South. It biamed"the efforts of a 

stupid and treacherous adr.ini strati on on the one 
hand' and the malcontent fireeaters on the other " for 
" the guilt and folly of destroying the best govern- 
i;!ent on earth." Observer, April 15, 1861. 

The uarolina Tatchman, the focus of '.Vhig sen- 
timent in the T/est, cane over v/ithoiit any reservations 
pril 23, it said: " President Lincoln's proclamation 
and call for volunteers to coerce the receding ?t--7,tes 
has, for the time being, -ettled every political 
difference bet-ffetn the people of this s"''''^n. If he 
had spent a whole year in divising a me o unite 
the southern people he could not have brought out any- 
"thing more succesciful. " 
(2) I.essage, iSllis !:3. Letter iiook, 409. et seq. 

vention be final becaune of the irin:)or't;uiice of a speedy 
separation fron t)ie nortliern £:overn::!ent . The nes- 
sage further uhoz/ed what action had been taken to 
^.lace the ..tate in an attitude of offenwive and de- 
fensive -vurfare and recoiniend u large approi.riation 
for arsenals and the manufacture of ams. 

The Asseniblv toclc swift action on the conven- 
tion bill, carrj^-ing: it throufjh all its readings 

and to its final passajre on the first day of the **^^ 
« ^ u " :l e r. . " The bill provided for a convention, ^va- 
restricted in powers "r ■ ''inal in action, to be con- 
posed of 120 delegates elected on the federal basis 
of poioulation in the counties. The election should 
be held on the llit^i, ..x. . .he convention noet on the 
2Cth. 3o raj.ldly did legislative machinery novo that 

the goveriior .li^z aLle to issue hib elcotion ^rocla- 
mation on the sane lay that he sent in his message 
recom. ending the convention. Ctiier important rec- 
ommendations, in a S;;eciai mes;:;ige from the governor, 

v/ere speedily embodied in lei:,-islative enactments. 

The governor -.vas authorized to tender to Virginia 

the services of Uorth Carolina troc^s not irrii-.ediate- 


vran'ce^ for coast defense. Five hunurea i^uousand 

dollars //ere placed at hi; jsal in addition to the 

aiiiount avorooriatcd by the regular iieHSioii i'or arninc 

the state. A bill vvaii passed autiiori.".ing counties 

^.j . ...::e subscri'jtions for the ijur-.;.o:::e of arrnlnf^ and 

equi:ping volunteers. The statute requiring state 

offiaers to ta::e an oath to suo-oort the constitution 

" (3) 
of the United States v/as repealed. The Democratic 

program of preparation encountered no opposition. 

The constitutional union Democrats, nov/ that they 
considered the Constitution definitely broken by the 

aggression of tlie North, had gone over in a body 

to the side of their secession brethren. The na- 
tionalists, ready for revolution, aide'"' i* ^ ^'-" -y-c- 

pa rat ions. 

In the twelve days intervening bet;:een t>.e 
;all for the conven:;_ .lection of delec-ates 

there was little time for an allignment of parties. 
The only point. of difference .hether separation 
should take the form and title or revolution or of se- 

ceSc:ion. This would depend upon whether the con- 
vention -jas controlled by those who held the national 
theory of the Constitution or by those who held the 
comjact theory. In most of the counties party lines 
were obscured to such an extent that there is no 

Caj %-lLt'if , r/li^^ li-<iCiij ^t(/"vt A.^?c<*tfe<^ /i/ cCi/ tl^icL/Th. 

.[ C t f ( C ; it I ! ■^ ' Hc^fCf<^LL(^ I LLC i ^ 


by the subsequent voting oi' their delegates in the 

Conve;:tion. In inany countieB tlie ol"; ailig'nrrient con- 


tiniieij.. Tiioi^u y/xiu ii^n uuuji ucu.uluc- ^uo tiS union- 

ists in February no.v becuine candidates us revolution- 
ists, but with nucli less hOi)e oi" election over their 
secession Ojp^^oner.ttj . 

The Uonvontion assenbled I.Iav EC, v/ith unre- 
stricted •o',7ers , but under inrlied instructions to 
se^.arate ixom the federal Union. Cf the one hun- 
dred anil t venty delegates elected the v/hole number 
v/ere soon in attendance. That the people of the 
state reali;;ed t}ie gravity of the situation is attest- 
ed by the character of the Convent Lor.. :ixty-seven of 
the delegates had had the advantage, either in v/hole 
or in j:.^rt, o_ . ooilc-ic-, oo- c;vL..cG:.*ticn. _f the ro- 
utining fifty-' -'ree , sixteen v/ere physicians v/ho haC 
tulcen profesBioiial ■ . _ of -'cl- 

egates the only of politioi^l ^jro.iinance Zi^uz 
v/ere absent were those of Z. E. Yance, James K. Kore- 
head and Millie ?. L'^ngum, of the 'Thigs, and Senators 
Olinginan and Bragg, Charles I^nly anu Lo^es ^. Bledsoe 
of the Democrats. The absence of these leaders 

(1) Jjjesors. Geo. E. Badger, :v. 1. Holdenrand'Z'p!' 
;?th^hn,^''! je-elected in Take after a close contest 
.71th ihoinas Bragg. C]:arles rianly and G. 77. IJordecai. 

^^) "CCorrdci- J 3. Personality of the Convention oi 
13ol published in James S.runt Historical IlonSgra hs! 
fh^ n«„ -; ^-oCoriiiick's iionograoh was T^reoa^-ei under 

the perc;onal supervision of ^rof ^ ■ -r^^^t "^^®^ 

3ept. of Kist. in the Univ! of^* c"pro? ^'^.fe ""^ 
a rne:.-.ber of the convention. ''''^- ^^"^"^^ '"'^ 

v/ao uuQ in 1u.ti^c part to the cQi.ipi'ri'. Livol;' sr- "^ ^ 

total mur^ber of tho conver.tion, tofGtl:rr -vith the 

Gonflic^tinr f^ljil-c "-or tho r.MTfr'xre: :"ie '"leo- 

-Ic vji car; :i '' ' . 

The conventaon choree '.lel'lon IK Edv/ards as over '7rn. A. Grah.".!'i, hy .■' vote of rixtT-five 

uo lor'^y-eigiit . I.r. cu./arutj jia': uecr^ of 

the self-constituted Goldsboro Convention. r.r. 

Graham was the candidate of the revolutionists. 

Irii]i;euiate4.7 after organisation, J.:r. Badger offered 

his ordinance of separation, based on the right of 


revolution. This dociL^.ent is renarlcahle for 

the evenjiess of iti: tone s.':\ i for the vividness v;ith 
v/hich it Toortra^red the nast and present political 
condition of tho state. The lon^^ "o "earrihle recited 
the grievances of Ilorth Carolina , efforts tz re- 
main in the Union and her reasons for tiie saine, and 
finallj, the cliina;': of her ~riev?.r.ces in linccln's 
proclamation and call " t;roops. i'nen fcllcved the 
ordinance declaring Ilorth Carolina free independ- 
ent. All reference to seccsr::' . lethal ri-ht 
v/as carefully avoided h.y r. raager. iso^^ic tiic 
vote was taten L]r. Uraige, the floor leader of the se 
cessionists, offered an ordinance an; r.ioved it as 

(1) Journal of the Horth (Jaroldna Convention of 
1261. IC, 11. 

a substitute for th; . .ufor. ' r. Crai^e's 

OT'linance, "based '-ii '. .. conrjtitntiona"' ^i^'ht of 

a state to v/ith'-.raw t};e Union nt •wvill , 3in-;^l3r 

iibroratc rcscinucd the ordinance of the ntate 

conveiition Wiiicli ratified the Con< •'' ^ 'tion of the 

United atatcK in 1739. The two ordinances, rep- 

resenting resoectively the national and the compact 
theory of the [-overnnGnt; r/ere now "before the conven- 
tion for a decision. The de"bate v/as short, care- 
fiilij pruned on both sides of all hostility, ana re- 
duced "Dractically to explanations of the resoective 

ositions of the sui^oorters of the ordinances. The 

vote resulted in seventy-tv/o for and forty an-ainst 

L-ubstitution. This v/as the tent vote. The rev- 

olutionists vere outnumbered by thirty- tv/o. Arrionp 

11) Journal of the iilorth Carolina Convention of IQGI 

(2) The 3ecesr;ion ordinance introiluced by r.r. Uraige 
and by which Horth Carolina v/ithdrevv fron the Union"", 
v/as ?7ritten by Judah P. Benjamin of i^resident Davis' 
Cabinet and sen"; by a special riesGonper , rr. -Janes 
:i. nines, to Governor Jfillir, at Salisbury. Gover- 
nor Ellis charge cyuir. uraige its intrfid.uction in 
the convention. llie object of the Confc"-- 'to Oov- 
ernir.ent r/as to secure unifornity in the : by 

r/hich the border states should withdraw. ':r. Hines, 
the confederate messenger, is nov; livinp in 3t. 
Louis, !.io. 

J^Jc^e Union-loving rr.ountain deleg^-te had no >^?^tie-ce 
\7ioii tne ter.roer of „he - ■ • " .-. ..-c..ce 

ce^sionists' constant re ^'"^ 

^liS^'J't,^''^'"!^^ Hi. lu... i,, height 

f:j-0^^ono ohan CjiaSte.h( ~ • '* ■■-'-■ 

iliy, revolute, aecess, '^ 

don't have to follow her lead ". -v>^'>- 

i.iei.doer. -ur., ce of -3. 

U) Journal of the Ccnventicn, 16. 

those v/ho voted against suljGtitution ?/ere ''.eBsrs. 

Gilmer, Gru-ham, I3att-ei% FereLoe, .'.'ailccr , Diok and 


Holden, all life-long '.Yhigs , except the two last 
named, both ?/ho were recent aconinitions. 

Iiniaediately aftp""^ ' ''•" ■-■^'^■': ^r.^-c ^ •■■^n vote on 

the -ruEBafe of the .snlastituted orilinance .vas talcen 

and resulted in a unanimity of ayes. Tho revolut- 
ionists deemed it unwise .- ..calren the atti'-'i '<-' of 
tlic state at such a '^eriod hy a continiied aivinion 
over ;' uestion of constitutional interpretation. 
"(Yitliin an hour after the passage r.r tho secession 
or.l inane e a ;;econd ordinance was introduced and pass- 
ed ratifying the Provisional Constitution of the 
Confeilerate States of Araerica. Thus the citizens 
of i^orth Carolina had "been under three different gov- 
errjnents within the space of as many hours. The 
state had been the last of the southern atates to 
enter the Union ana the last to v/ithdrar/. 

The record of the ayes an', nays iipon the sub- 
stitution of tiie ordinance of secession for the 
ordinance of revolution enables the vote of each rel- 
egate to be traced to the county v/}iich he represent- 
ed. I'aking large allovvanr"'^ "'- ■i^'iiTonce of 
poj^ular leaders the expected fact is Ji..clo3ed that 

(1) Journal c c;onvention, 1'. :.e hundred and 
fifteen, all" t n in the Hull, voted for 

tj:o ordinance. _..>, -^,....ini '■' "ive had tlieir votes 
recorded for it the follov/l; 

b constiltuancieB oi" cielegateG vv];u voted for rev- 

oliiticn occuied tnn rtronrholrlG oi' the old 7/hig 
piirty, :-n . oJiat these ;: uron'2:nox..:u .cro, in turn, co- 
incident '.vith the territory: fir«t, vvliereslavery as 

an eGon:r:io institntion not c::iF:t, nE in the noiu? 

tain Gouiiury; second, v/here tnc sta_le crocs •.vere 
not grown iin"i slnver.7 'vas conseruentl.j a v/eak econom- 
ic factor, jis in portions of the rj^^^.T-^ont co^mtry; 
thira, .v.'icre l.'^e ^^.i^lzon: .vcre . 'ji '.Ixi^ir^ , aa in Siiil- 

ford, Randolph and Ghathan counties; and fourth, 

' e^ 

";vhere a larre ■-ocr ':?'^lte :.n inimi ouV ' Ti - e to 

slavery existo' , :■.:,: in-^y-Kj j;:uur(jr eastern our'- ■ - ' 
swan '0 c un t i e s . 



From the foregoing study the writer feels that the 
following conclusions may be justly drawn: - 

First: that North Carolina entered the federal Union 
in the belief that the act by which she ratified the Con- 
stitution did not divest her of sovereignty. The theory 
obtained that sovereignty was divisible and that the feder- 
al governirient v/as the ugent of the federated states empow- 
ered to exercise their sovereign powers to the extent grant 
ed by the constitutionatl compact. 

Second: that the slight jealousy manifested for 
state sovereignty by North Carolina during the first fifty 
years of union v/as due not tc a change of theory but to a 
groY/ing sense of appreciation of the benefits derived from 
the v/ork of the agent, a govermrient v/hich should be loyally 
supported as long us its controlling principle v/as a just 
preservation of the line of deniarlcation between the powers 
delegated to it c;,nd those retained hy the stutes. 

Third: that during the Whig regime in the state 
from 1835 to 1850 the first indications appeared of the 
growth of a true national spirit. This spirit, though v/eak 
in the first years of its existence and confined to the 
portion of the state which was less influenced by slavery. 


I'eally interpreted the constitution as hg.ving created not 
a federal compact of sovereign States, but an indissoluble 
national unity. 

fourth: that though this spirit of nationalism 
grew apace under pressure of fear for the Union aroused by 
the slavery agitation from 1850 to 1860 it never becEurie 
atrong enough to successfully combat the states rights' 
forces v/hich v;ere united in defense both of slavery and the 
principle upon which they conceived the Union to be founded 

Eifth: that a rriaj ority even of those v/ho believed 
in the compact theory went out of the Union in 1861 reluct- 
ly, under pressure of rushing events, influenced by a com- 
mon interest vv'ith the slave states, and in the belief that 
secession, though now inevitable was too hastily adopted 
as a remedy for the grievances of the South, 

Sources used In the preparation of this Study . 

f/ianuscripts - 

1 Executive Letter-Books, 1776-1S61. 

2 Files in Secretary of State's Office, containing me- 
morials, petitions to the Legislature, correspondance 
of U.S. Senators Representatives v/ith the Assembly, and 
j^rivate correspondence of State Officials. 

3 Jonathan Worth's Manuscripts. 

Printed Sources - 

1 Journals of the North Carolina Senate, 

2 Journals of the North Carolina House of Coinmons. 

3 Journal of the North Carolina Convention of 1788. 

4 Journal of the North Carolina Convention of 1789. 

5 Journal and Debates of the Convention of 1835. 

6 Journal of the North Carolina Secession Convention 


7 Laws of North Carolina from 1776 to 1861. 

8 Life and Correspondence of Jairies Iredell, McRee, 

2 vols, , 1S57. 

9 Wheeler, J. H, Personal Memoirs, 1884. 

10 7/heeler, J, H, Materials for N, C, History, 2 vols, 


11 Poote, W. H, Sketches of North Carolina, 1846. 

12 Speeches and Writings of Thomas L. Clingirian, 1S77. 

13 Benton, T. H. Thirty-Year View, 

14 Stephens, A.H, War Betv/een the States, 

15 President Davis, Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, 

16 Reichel, Levin T, The Moravians in North Carolina, 


17 Laninan, Charles, Letters from the Allefhany Mountains 

1 vol., New York, 1849. 

18 Spencer, Mrs. Cornelia Phillips, The Last Ninety Days 

of the War in North Carolina, 1866, 

19 Land We Love (Magazine), Charlotte, N, C, 1866-1869. 

20 *;. C. University Magazine, 1844, e t , s e ( i . . 

Newapai-era - 

1 Niles' Register, 1811-1836. 

2 Carolina Watchman (Whig) 

3 Fayetteville Observer, (Whig) 

4 Greensboro Patriot, (Whig) 

5 Hillsboro Recorder, (V/hig) 

6 North Carolina Standard, (Dem, ) 

7 Raleigh Register, 1791-1861, (Anti-I^ederalist - Repub- 

lican - Whig - Democrat). 

8 Raleigh Star, (Federalist - Whig - Democrat). 

9 V/ilmington lierald, (Dem.) 

10 Wilriiington Daily Journal (Republican- Democrat). 

11 Western Carolinian, (Whig), 

12 Newberne Centinel (Dem. ) 


Henry f'cGilbert Wagsti:J"f vyas born in Person county, 
J'crth 'Carolina, :t^ebruary 27, 1S76. After rudimentary 
training in the public schools he entered the High School 
at Rcxboro, North Carolina, ana remained t»vo years. In 
1895 he entered the freshman class at the University of 
:,orth Carolina and graduated June, 1899, v/ith the degree 
Ph.B. The follov/ing year he taught- general subjects in 
the High School at Kast Bend, North Carolina. The two fol' 
lowing years he taught Matheiratics in Rutherford College, 
North Carolina and in October, 1902, he entex-ed the Johns 
Hopkins University, taking up the work in History, Polici- 
cal Plconomy ijxd Political Science. In June, 190b, he was 
awarded a Fellowship in History.